# Improving drawing of ovals and circles

I am trying to draw freehand ovals and circles. I’m not having too much difficulty with circles, but ovals are are more challenging.

As you can see in the photo below the ovals are irregular, and not real ovals. The circles I can “flesh out” correcting irregularities, but not the ovals.

What can I do to improve my ability to draw them? I know I could use tools, but my goal is to do this freehand. Right now I am simply drawing them over and over, but I word prefer some direction.

I think a good excersize would be to start by using axes. You mention you don’t want to use tools, but freehand axes can give you a great view of hoy ellipses work, specially in perspective. Once you are comfortable with the ‘theory’ you can get rid of them.

Every ellipse has two axes or diameters, called a long diameter and a short diameter, which cross each other at their centers and at right angles:

When the eye of the spectator is in the plane of a circle and outside of its circumference, the short diameter of the ellipse appears as a point, and as the eye varies or departs from the A plane of the circle, the short diameter increases in apparent length until it may appear equal to the long diameter, which can only be true when the line of direction is at right angles to the plane of the circle.

Once we ‘step back’, the space in the ellipse does not compress equally. The back half of the circle is compressed more than the front half. This is the foreshortening that occurs when we see the surface of an object at an angle. The farthest points to the left and right of the ellipse do not rest in the vertical middle. They sit slightly above the vertical center.

Similar to the concept in perspective that objects closer to the viewer appear larger than objects further away, when looking at an object in perspective the parts of the object closer to the viewer will appear larger than the trailing parts: