For most of us, our chief interaction with a spade comes when we head out to do the gardening – or dig for buried treasure! This often overlooked household tool actually has a rich history going back for thousands of years, with the earliest examples being made of bone. Over time, the shape, design and materials continued to change, until we reached the oh-so-familiar garden essential we all know and love today.
Whether you are a keen gardening fan, or just fascinated by the history all around us, we have the step-by-step guide to draw your very own garden spade – let’s get started!
Begin by drawing a small oval shape on your page, approximately two thirds of the way along the page, and around half an inch (1.3 cm) from the top. Add a small dot to the center of this oval.
Move to the bottom right hand corner of the oval, and draw a line straight down to the left, at a 45 degree angle. Then repeat this from the bottom left hand corner of the oval, so that you have two parallel lines, topped by the original oval.
Connect the lines at the bottom, and then fill in some details; add a straight, vertical line coming down from the top center, and a longer one extending up from bottom center. Add another straight, vertical line around halfway up the shape, and a few marks at the top left hand, moving downwards just inside the edge. You can also add another straight line, and extra marks. This will add character and personality to your handle.
Move to the bottom of the shape, and extend both lines straight down, so they continue in parallel for a short way.
About halfway up this second pair of lines, draw a single horizontal line extending out on each side. Leave the center of the parallel lines clear.
Next, move on to draw the outline of the shovel. Start at the end of the horizontal line you just created, and draw a smooth curve downwards, stopping roughly level with the parallel line. Move to the other side, and draw a line straight down from the end of the line, at a ninety degree angle. Make this mostly straight, but with a slight curve as you reach the very end. There should be a wide gap between the bottom of these two lines.
Time for your shovel to get to work! Start around halfway down the head, and draw a curved, bumpy line extending out to the right. Bring this to a curved edge, and then continue the line down and to the left, before bringing it back up to meet the left hand side of the shovel. If you get stuck, imagine a cloud – this is what your shape should resemble. Next, move your pencil to roughly the center of the cloud shape you just created, at the bottom of the curved lines you just drew. Connect the two sides forming together with another bumpy, wavy line, and add a few details as you wish. Don’t forget; this is mud, so it doesn’t have to be neat and perfect!
Add a few more cloud shapes all around the bottom of the image, to show how the shovel is digging.
Return to your main cloud shape, and add a few curved lines to add texture and motion to the picture – this can be as random as you like!
Return to the top of the shovel, and add hatching, starting from the outside edge and working in on the right hand side, and from the center line out on the left hand side. Make sure that your lines decrease in length as you move down the shape.
Return to the parallel lines in the middle of the shovel, and continue them down until they reach the “cloud shape.”
Time to add some color! Add a refreshing brown tone to the handle of the shovel – try and match your favorite wood if you can!
Add some browns to your dirt pile…
And a vibrant, cheerful yellow to the central strip.
Finally, fill in the shovel head itself with a bright, shiny silver.
Congratulations; you have crafted the perfect drawing of a stunning garden shovel! Though it may seem humble, this is a mighty tool, and deserves to be brought to light with care and attention through the power of art. Great job!