How to draw chains

Accessories are very essential when drawing a fashion sketch. They are able to completely change the feel of your design and bring uniqueness to it. In this step by step tutorial, you will learn how to draw chains and make gorgeous handles for bags, pieces of jewelry or interesting design elements for the clothes you’re creating. Have fun!

Time, Tools and Difficulty:

Time to complete the tutorial: 4min
Tools you’ll need: drawing paper, a pencil, markers
Difficulty level: 4/10

How to draw a chain in 9 steps:

Step 1: Set the size

The first thing you need to do when drawing chains is to set the length of the chain and the size of each link. Start by drawing a Centerline indicating the movement of the chain and divide it into equal parts.

Step 2: Guidelines

The chain links are usually loose enough to rotate around their own axis. Use a pencil and gently mark ellipses that are all the same length, but have different widths. This is a way to indicate that they are not fixed in one position but rather turned to various different angles.

Step 3: Links

Draw the inner ellipse of the links. Try to keep the width consistent and don’t worry about overlapping. At this point, you should be gently marking with your pencil since all of this will be erased in a later stage.

Step 4: Make it real

In order to draw the chain and make it look realistic, you need to bring some 3-dimentionality to your sketch. To achieve this move the upper right corner of each link up a little bit. The goal is to make the right side of the Inner ellipse touch the left side of the outside ellipse. Inner right to outer left.

Keep the width of each link the same as before. You are just moving this segment up a little bit – no other transformations.

Erase the old position of the segment – no unnecessary lines.

Step 5: Overlap

The links of the chain are going to look like they are overlapping after this step. The only thing you need to do is to thicken the lower left side of each link. No moving, no changes. Just fix the place where the overlapping is happening with your pencil before inking the sketch.

Step 6: Inking

Ink the chain and erase the pencil lines. Pay attention to the overlapping places.

Step 7: Adding shadows

Once you have finished the outlines of the chain element fill it with a color of your choice. For some extra realism add a shadow at the upper left of each link and blend it down. Don’t forget the shadow cast by the overlapping from Step 4.

Step 8: Add highlights

Add some highlights to the right side of each link. Use a white gel pen or pencil for the best results. If you want to draw a golden chain for your accessories and outfits check out the “How to draw gold” step by step tutorial.

Experiment with various chain sizes and directions in your fashion sketches. Mix colors and link shapes – have fun drawing your designs and hopefully this how to draw chains tutorial have added to your skills set!

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