Today we will learn how to draw a hexagon in two very different ways. First, we construct a precise hexagon using a compass and a ruler. Next, we will learn how to draw reasonably regular hexagon by hand, using six triangles to guide us and build it.
Here is what the two hexagons will look like:
The first hexagon is constructed precisely using a compass, and drawn with a ruler. That way we get a geometrically perfect hexagon.
Our second hexagon is drawn by hand and built up from six triangles of the exact same shape. This is an easy technique to get a reasonably regular hexagonal shape by hand.
how to construct a regular hexagon
Our first hexagon is constructed precisely using a compass and drawn with a ruler. That way we get a geometrically perfect shape. All sides of the hexagon are the same length – exactly half of the diameter of the circle it is inscribed in. That makes it easy to split the circle regularly and mark the required points on the circle with a compass. Let’s get into it.
Step 1 – Draw a circle
Then take your compass and draw a circle from the
If you are aiming to construct a hexagon with a given side length, the radius of the circle, i.e. the opening of your compass, is the given length of the side of a completed hexagon.
Step 2 – Mark the top two corners
Next, we will mark the top two corners. Leave your compass set to the same radius, and draw a semicircle from the top intersection of our circle and the vertical cross line.
If you are aiming to erase all these construction lines later, just mark the spots where the semicircle intersects with the circle.
We have drawn the full half-circle here just to show the fact that we still draw with the same radius, and to make the explanation a bit more obvious.
Step 3 – Repeat and mark the bottom two corners
We repeat and draw the half-circle with exactly the same radius from the bottom intersection of our circle and the vertical cross line. That marks the remaining two points of our hexagon at the bottom half of the circle.
Again, feel free to just mark the spots, rather than drawing the full semicircle.
Step 4 – Connect the marked points to draw a hexagon
On this picture we have highlighted the six intersecting points that will make the corners of our hexagon.
All that is left is to connect them all with straight lines and we have constructed a perfect regular hexagon.
If you would want the hexagon to sit on the flat side, rather than stand on its corner, you can use the same technique. Just draw the half circles from the left and right, rather than the top and bottom intersection of the cross and circle.
And finally, if you do not have a compass on hand: You can get pretty close using anything round, such as the top of a glass, to draw your circles. Just try to make the top and bottom semicircle meet as closely as possible to the centre of the full circle.
And that is all there is to know about constructing a regular hexagon.
How to draw a hexagon by hand (without a compass)
In a regular hexagon, a length from the center to any corner of the hexagon is the same length as any side. Because of this, a regular hexagon can be thought of as being made of six equilateral triangles – triangles with all three sides of the same length. Let’s use that to draw a hexagon by hand.
Step 1 – Draw a triangle
So let’s draw the first triangle. As mentioned, all three sides are the same length. The internal angle of a equilateral triangle is 60 degrees. That makes our triangle a nice and symmetrical pyramid shape.
Step 2 – Add two more
updide down triangles
Probably the easiest way is to draw a horizontal line through the top of the starting triangle. Then extend the sides, until they meet with the horizontal line.
Try to mirror the triangles as close as possible to the original – size and all angles.
Step 3 – And two more triangles on top
Let’s add two more triangles – by now you are getting professional at drawing equilateral triangles.
These two stand back on the flat side, with their points up again, same as our first triangle.
The way to draw these is to extend the
As you can see, after I drew the outer sides, I had to adjust the inner ones a bit. Now the top points of my triangles line up nicely with the mirror triangles at the bottom half of the hexagon.
Step 4 – Complete the hexagon
Well, this is the easy bit. To close the last triangle, we just add a simple line at the top. That completes the hexagon drawing.
Step 5 – Outline the hexagon
Finally, let’s outline our hexagon. You can erase the triangle guidelines, if you plan to use your hexagon in some further drawing.
As you can see, while the shape is not as perfect as the one constructed with compass, we have still drawn a pretty regular hexagonal shape just by hand.
Now if you really want to practice drawing your hexagons, check out our “How to draw a turtle” tutorial! Our turtle shell is made entierly of irregular hexagons!