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Lesson Details

In this lesson, you’re going to learn how to draw a simple optical illusion called, “the impossible triangle.

The reason is this illusion is called “the impossible triangle” is because it is a shape that can not actually exist in real life.

But despite the name, this illusion is actually very simple to draw. So let’s get started!

Drawing Materials

For this lesson, I’ll be using

Step 1 – Drawing The Lay In

The first step is to draw a simple triangle. Try to make all the sides as uniform as possible.

Impossible Triangle 1 (Small)

Next within the triangle you just drew, draw the 3 sides again to form a smaller triangle.

The gap between the larger and smaller triangle will determine the thickness of your impossible triangle. I try to keep this distance relatively thin so that my drawing does not get too crowded.

Impossible Triangle 2 (Small)

Repeat this process one more time to create a third (and even smaller) triangle.

Impossible Triangle 3 (Small)

Now go to each of 3 the diamond shapes at the outer corners of your drawing and put a short line through the middle of each.

Impossible Triangle 4 (Small)

And that’s it! That’s all the lines we have to make. Our impossible triangle is in there somewhere. We just have to make it visible.

Step 2 – Make The Triangle Visible

First, erase the 3 corner tips of the larger triangle. Notice that we now have a large triangle-like shape at the outer edge of the drawing. And we also have a small triangle at the very center.

Impossible Triangle 5 (Small)

Impossible Triangle 6 (Small)

Let’s ink in these 2 shapes. I’m using a 0.5 Copic multiliner pen.

Impossible Triangle 7 (Small)

The ink on these pens take a few seconds to dry fully so be careful not to smudge them when you are drawing.

Now we just have to ink in the rest of the drawing. There’s a lot of lines here so it can get a bit confusing.

The best way to think about this is to imagine you are trying to get from the large triangle to the small triangle using these roads.

Impossible Triangle 7.1 (Small)

Here’s what I mean. Let’s start with this corner. Here we have a choice of 2 roads. For the first one, it doesn’t matter which road you pick. So let’s just go with the one on the left.

Impossible Triangle 7.2 (Small)

Follow this road down until you get to the far end of the small triangle and then make a turn to connect to it.

Impossible Triangle 8 (Small)

Now let’s do the same thing for this corner. Again, you have 2 roads to choose from. But since this one is already used, we’ll have to use the other one. And again, once you get to the far end of the small triangle, make a turn to connect to it.

Impossible Triangle 9 (Small)

And lastly, we’ll do the same for the 3rd corner.

Impossible Triangle 10 (Small)

Now let’s wait for a minute for the ink to dry and then erase the pencil lines to reveal our impossible triangle.

Step 3 – Shading The Triangle

We are pretty much done with our triangle and you can stop here if you’d like. But I’m going to add a few finishing touches to make it really pop.

I’ll use a 1.0 size pen to create a thick outline at the outer edge and the center of the triangle.

Impossible Triangle 11 (Small)

And lastly, let’s add some shading. We’ll use a 2B pencil to put a gradation at the 3 inner corners of the triangle.

Impossible Triangle 12 (Small)

Then, let’s add a lighter gradation at the 3 outer corners.

Impossible Triangle 13 (Small)

And we’re all done!

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