Learn how to draw a basketball with easy step by step instructions to drawing the tricky line pattern and shading the basketball.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to draw a basketball. First, we will show you an easy way to draw the tricky line pattern on the ball. Unlike other drawings on this site, the harder part of this tutorial is actually colouring and shading the basketball so it looks like a sphere, rather than just a flat orange circle.
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How to draw a basketball: base sketch step by step
Step 1: Draw a circle and split it into quarters
To draw a ball on flat paper, we start with a simple circle.
Now, the line pattern on the basketball divides it into quarters. If we would draw the basketball viewed from the top, those lines would be just a straight cross through the centre – a bit boring and flat. For more interest and to better suggest that our basketball is a sphere, we move the centre point to the top left quarter. Then the split lines become two curves.
Step 2: Divide the basketball into eighths
Next, add two more lines that split the basketball into eighths. These are again curved, to follow the sphere surface, and run in the middle between the quarter lines we have marked in the previous step.
Step 3: Round off the opposite quarter peaks
To complete the line pattern found on the typical basketball, draw a smooth transition curve at the top of the basketball between the two opposite “eighths” lines.
And that is the basketball sketch completed.
Want to practice the sphere shading more?
How to draw a basketball: outline step by step
Step 1: Draw the quarter split lines on the basketball
Time to draw the basketball properly. First, outline the two quarter split lines. These are pretty thick – so draw a few times over the same path to widen out the line (ours is about triple the width of the usual outline).
Step 2: Outline the curved basketball pattern lines
Now use the same thick line to draw the other two pattern lines, that are joined by the curve at the top.
Step 3: Draw the ball
Finally, outline the circle for the ball. Here you can see the difference between the normal outline and the thick basketball pattern lines.
Feel like drawing some more tricky patterns?
How to draw a basketball: finished drawing
How to draw a basketball: finished outline drawing
Here is the completed basketball drawing, after we have erased sketch lines. That was a pretty easy way how to draw a basketball and the tricky line pattern on it.
Unusually, the harder part of this tutorial is actually still coming up – colouring the ball and shading it so that it looks like a sphere.
How to draw a basketball: finished drawing coloured-in
Here is the completed result of our how to draw a basketball tutorial – a fully coloured-in and shaded ball.
The most common basketball is orange – so start by colouring the ball in a uniform light orange. Then take a darker orange, or light brown to add the shading – notice the half-moon shaped shade at the bottom and narrow darker shades along the black pattern lines.
The final trick is to add highlights – we are actually using an eraser to add the lighter patch at the top right, and the reflected light highlight at the bottom of the ball.
A darker brown shadow on the ground completes the spherical look of our basketball drawing.