How to Draw a Lamp Post

Though too often taken for granted in the modern world, the humble streetlamp has a rich and fascinating history, and their use dates right back to the Classical era. Greek and Roman civilizations saw light primarily as a form of security designed to protect the wanderer from tripping or falling victim to robbers. Oil lamps were the preferred means of light, with a slave taking responsibility for lighting the “lanternarius” in front of the Roman villas.

In the Middle Ages, candles were the chosen solution, and a “link boy” would be employed to escort people from one place to another. In the 1500s, public streetlighting took hold, with a 1588 degree from the Parisian Parliament decreeing that a torch be installed at lit at every intersection in the city – this was upgraded to a lantern in 1594.

Louis XIV reformed street lighting in the city, with Paris boasting over 2700 lights by the close of the 17th century – this number had doubled just 30 years later. London followed suit in the 17th century, and the oil lantern became commonplace in the mid-18th century.

By 1817, there were almost 5000 lamps on the streets of Paris – perfect for hanging aristocrats from during the French Revolution – and over time lighting evolved to gas lamps, incandescent lights, and the modern technology we enjoy today.

Take a trip down memory lane with this step-by-step guide to crafting your very own lamp post, and play your part in history!

Tutorial Video

Step-By-Step Images and Instructions


How to draw a lamp post step 1

Begin your drawing by taking hold of a black liner, and a ruler, and using these to create a small, rectangle-like shape in the center of your page, around an inch and a half from the top. Make sure that the top and bottom of your shape are curved for a softer shape.


How to draw a lamp post step 2

Move to around halfway down the shape, and draw a curved, curving line on either side, looping the ends round in a spiral.


How to draw a lamp post step 3

Next, use the ruler to draw a straight line down the very center of your shape, both above and below the rectangle.


How to draw a lamp post step 4

At the bottom of the line, use your ruler to draw a short, horizontal line, which has the main line right in the center. Add small “feet” to either side of this horizontal line – these should angle inwards ever so slightly.


How to draw a lamp post step 5

Using your ruler, draw a straight line to connect the “feet” and create a step. Then, repeat this process to create another step just below – make sure this is ever so slightly wider than the first.


How to draw a lamp post step 6

Next, repeat the process to add another “step” below this second one – this time, make sure the width is equal to that of the top step.


How to draw a lamp post step 7

Using the ruler for accuracy, draw two straight, parallel lines coming down from the edges of the step, stopping just below the bottom of the page.


How to draw a lamp post step 8

Then, use your ruler to create a small rectangle at the very bottom of the two lines – this should be just a little wider than the “steps”.


How to draw a lamp post step 9

Return to the top of the shape, and draw two straight lines, emerging just above the spirals you drew earlier – make sure to use the ruler to ensure that they are super straight. You should now have three “points”.


How to draw a lamp post step 10

Add two short, horizontal line to each “point”, making sure that these are evenly spaced on each point. The top line should be every so slightly longer than the bottom.


How to draw a lamp post step 11

Connect the two horizontal lines together with a slightly curved line, so that you have three shapes on each “point” – these are the outlines of your lanterns.


How to draw a lamp post step 12

Next, add a curved “lid” to each of your lantern; this should be highest in the middle off the curve, and come down to meet the corner of each edge.


How to draw a lamp post step 13

Add three small, oval shapes to the top of each “lid”.


How to draw a lamp post step 14

Now for some color! Switch to a black pen, and carefully go over the drawing so that you have clear, black lines. Next, fill in the lids and edges of the lanterns, as well as the ovals on top, and add a thickness to the arms. Fill in the shape at the bottom of the lamppost, and add two small “points” halfway up the main line.


How to draw a lamp post step 15

Finally, end by grabbing a cyan pen, and using this to fill in the “glass” of the lanterns in a clear, sharp blue.

And just like that, you have your very own stunning Victorian-style lamp post – but which landscape will they be a part of?

How to Draw a Lamp Post Gallery

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