The Gateway Arch is the tallest structure in St. Louis. It may not look like it, but it is just as wide as it is tall. The arch is 630 feet tall, and 630 wide. To draw the arch, let's start by marking the base and height of the arch on our page. Draw these lines very lightly with a ruler and a 2H or harder pencil. They are just guides and will be erased later.
Before drawing the actual arch, it's best to draw the ground that it rests on. Our viewpoint is going to be from the water (as if we're on a boat). We should be able to see a small section of beach with two small hills behind the beach on either side of the page. The small hills have scattered trees and shrubs. There is a large section of cement steps connecting the two hills, but from our great distance, we are not able to see the individual steps.
Although we will not be able to tell from out angle, the structure of the ach is in the shape of triangle, and is made up of a series of stainless steel panels.
The Gateway Arch is considered to be a catenary arch. It's the type of arch you would find in a piece of hanging rope or cable between two posts. As seen in this illustration, the center of the rope is pulled down by gravity, causing the rope to gradually bend more and more as it reaches the lowest hanging point. But notice how the ends of the rope are pointing outwards in such a way that, if they were to continue, they would not wrap back around and connect at the top. This is the same type of arch that creates the Gateway Arch.
We can now draw the arch itself. Using your vertical guide line, start from the top of the arch and draw the outer/upper edge of arch all the way down to its base, which should meet the tip of your horizontal guide line. Then draw the inner portion of the arch in the same manner, but notice how the base of the arch is thicker than the top portion. Your arch should be perfectly symmetrical, so if needed, draw one side of the base first and measure it with a ruler, and transfer those measurements to the opposite side of the base so that they are equal size.
The arch by itself doesn't look like much. It's a good idea to draw in some additional landscaping and scenery to really make the image stand out. Draw in more of the park and trees beneath the arch.
Then draw in some of the cityscape behind the arch. You don't have to draw the entire city in detail, draw enough to make the image more interesting.
You may want to sketch in some windows on the buildings as well. These do not have to be perfect, because we are at such a great distance and would not be able to see each and every window.
Finish the image by inking your work using a Micron marker and a ruler. To give the image more depth and help the arch stand out, ink the arch with a thick marker, and the cityscape with a fine tip marker. And that's how you draw the Gateway Arch of St. Louis!
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