Learn how to draw a pyramid with a simple step by step tutorial. First, you will learn how to construct the 3D pyramid shape, then how to overlay a nice stone pattern to finish with a perfect, Egyptian-style pyramid.
In the first part of the tutorial, you will learn how to construct the three-dimensional pyramid shape – drawing the base square in perspective and finding the vertical centreline for a perfect pyramid shape.
Once you know how to draw the pyramid shape, the next tricky part is to lay down a nice pattern of overlapping stones to complete the pyramid. We lay down a simple grid that will help us easily draw nice, overlapping stones.
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How to draw a pyramid: 3D construction
Step 1: Draw a square in perspective
Step 2: Mark the centreline of the pyramid
Now we need to draw the vertical centreline for the pyramid. First, let’s find the centre of our square base. Draw the two diagonals – where they cross is the centre of the pyramid base. Then draw the centreline straight up from the base centre.
Step 3: Draw the outer edges of the pyramid
The final step is simply to join the top of the pyramid to each of the corners. And since the top-left edge is hidden behind the front side of the pyramid, all we need is three lines to draw the pyramid sides.
How to draw a pyramid: base sketch step by step
Step 1: Base pyramid shape in 3D perspective
Here is the simplified pyramid shape from the previous construction exercise after we have erased all the construction lines. All you can see is the front triangle and one side.
Step 2: Divide the pyramid horizontally
Since pyramids are built from layer after layer of stones, let’s divide the shape into individual cubes.
Start by marking the front face – divide it by drawing horizontal lines. Notice we are drawing the lines with a wide gap at the bottom, and the lines are getting closer together as we move up to the narrower top of the pyramid.
Step 3: Draw the horizontal lines on the side face
Next, divide the side face of the pyramid. Draw lines parallel to the base of the pyramid, each starting where your front dividers meet the edge.
Step 4: Draw the vertical lines on the pyramid
Next, mark the vertical lines to split the pyramid into square stones. Divide the base with small marks into an even number of equal parts – we have five markers dividing the width of the pyramid into six equal parts. Then join each of the markers to the top of the pyramid. Divide the other side of the pyramid in the same way.
Step 5: Draw the entry door
Now, this is certainly an option that you can leave out if you just want a simple drawing, but we thought the pyramid is a bit bare and decided to give it an entry arch.
Draw a rectangle in the middle of the baseline. Then draw the half-oval entry on it.
Now for the tricky part, drawing all the sides of the entry portal in perspective: the short lines from the front face of the gate to the pyramid wall are parallel with the base of the right face of the pyramid. On the right side of the portal, the line from the bottom to the top back corner points up to the top of the pyramid – the same as our dividing lines in the previous step.
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How to draw a pyramid: outline the drawing step by step
Step 1: Outline the pyramid gate and the top cap
It is time to start outlining our pyramid. Start with the simple outline of the gate portal – just a straight outline of the sketch.
Then outline the base of the pyramid. Since our pyramid is standing in the sand dunes, draw the baselines with a wavy line. Similarly, outline the peak of the pyramid, but give it some rugged wavy bottom edges, as the outer casing is worn over time, as seen on this picture of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Step 2: Draw the first layer of stone blocks
Let’s start building the layers of stones that make the pyramid. On the front face, draw the stone outlines as wide rectangles across two of the sketch segments – so we get three large stones out of our six segments.
On the side, start with just one segment – this would be the side of the corner block. Then draw two double-wide stones, finishing with a narrow single-segment one for the rear block.
Step 3: Add second layer of stone blocks
Now add the second layer of the blocks. As we want a nice overlapping brick pattern, reverse the method from the previous step.
Start with just a single segment, followed by two doubles and a single at the end for the front face. Swap around to three double-width stones on the side face.
Step 4: Complete the stone patern for the remaining layers
Now that you have learned how to draw the overlapping stone pattern, complete the remaining layers of the pyramid in the same way.
If you want your pyramid to look more realistic, with a more interesting pattern, rather than drawing out just the straight dividing lines, outline each stone block individually with slightly rounded corners.
How about drawing a mummy to haunt the pyramid?
How to draw a pyramid: finished drawing
How to draw a pyramid: finished outline drawing
Here is the completed pyramid outline with the sketch lines erased. Here you can better see how outlining the individual stones gives our drawing a bit of irregularity and a more natural look.
How to draw a pyramid: finished drawing coloured-in
Now that you know how to draw a pyramid, all that is left is to colour in the drawing. Pyramids are usually built from sandstone – so here we are using shades of yellow, ochre and light brown to colour the pyramid and give it some texture.
Of course, pyramids stand in the middle of sand dunes – drawn as few simple overlapping arcs, and coloured in with the same sandy colours. Some hot Egyptian sun and a suggestion of a camel caravan in the distance are optional extras to complete the desert scene.