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This article was coauthored by Kelly Medford and by wikiHow staff writer, Kyle Hall. Kelly Medford is an American painter based in Rome, Italy. She studied classical painting, drawing and printmaking both in the U.S. and in Italy. She works primarily en plein air on the streets of Rome, and also travels for private international collectors on commission. She founded Sketching Rome Tours in 2012 where she teaches sketchbook journaling to visitors of Rome. Kelly is a graduate of the Florence Academy of Art.
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Drawing a circle freehand is tricky, but luckily there are lots of tools and tricks at your disposal that can help. From using a compass to tracing round objects, drawing perfect circles will be a breeze once you find the method that works for you!
Steps
Tracing
 1Find something round that you can trace. Any round object will work. You can use a round glass, the bottom of a candle, or a circular piece of paper. Just make sure the rounded edge is smooth.
 2Hold the round object on a piece of paper. Take the round part of the object and place it flat on the paper where you want to draw your circle. Use the hand you don’t draw with to hold it in place so it doesn’t move when you’re tracing it.Advertisement

3Trace around the edge of the object. Take a pencil and follow along the round edge of the object until you’ve completed the circle. When you’re finished, take the object off the piece of paper and you’ll have a perfect circle!
 If there are any gaps in the circle after you move the round object, fill them in with the pencil.
Using a Compass
 1Attach a pencil to a drawing compass. Insert the pencil in the slot at the end of the compass and tighten it into place so it’s secure.[1] X Research source
 2Adjust the compass arms depending on how big you want your circle to be. If you want a big circle, pull the arms of the compass away from each other so the angle between them is bigger. If you want a small circle, push the arms closer together so there’s a small angle between them.[2] X Research source
 3Place the ends of the compass on a piece of paper. Position the compass where you want to draw the circle. The end of the compass with the pencil attached to it will be where the outside of your circle is, and the other end of the compass will be the center of the circle.[3] X Research source

4Rotate the compass to draw a circle. Keeping both ends of the compass on the piece of paper, rotate the compass so the end with the pencil spins around and draws a circle.[4] X Research source
 Avoid shifting the compass while you’re drawing the circle or your circle will be uneven.
Using String
 1Tie a piece of string to the pointed end of a pencil. The longer the piece of string you use, the bigger your circle will be.
 2Hold the end of the string down on a piece of paper. Wherever the end of the string is on the paper is where the center of the circle will be. Use your fingers to hold the end of the string in place.
 3Pull the string taut and draw a circle with the pencil. Keep holding the end of the string down as you’re drawing the circle. If you keep the string pulled taut as you draw a circle around the center, you should end up with a perfect circle!
Using a Protractor
 1Lay a protractor flat on a piece of paper. Position the protractor on the paper where you want to draw a circle.

2Trace the curved edge of the protractor. This will be the first half of your circle. Don’t trace the flat edge of the protractor.
 Make sure you hold the protractor in place while you trace it so it doesn’t shift and mess up your line.
 3Rotate the protractor and trace the other half of the circle. Line the straight edge of the protractor up with the ends of the curved line you traced. Then, trace the curved edge of the protractor to close your circle.
Drawing with a Pin
 1Place paper on top of a piece of cardboard. Any kind of cardboard will work, as long as it’s thick and a pin can push through it.[5] X Research source
 2Push a pin through the paper and the cardboard. Position the pin so it’s in the spot where you want the center of the circle to be. Make sure it’s secure in the cardboard so it doesn’t shift when you’re drawing the circle.[6] X Research source

3Put a rubber band around the pin. The larger the rubber band, the bigger your circle will be. If you want to draw a small circle, use a small rubber band or wrap the rubber band around the pin twice.[7] X Research source
 If you don’t have a rubber band, you can tie a piece of string into a circle and use that instead.
 4Place the tip of a pencil in the other end of the rubber band. At this point, the rubber band should be wrapped around both the pin and the pencil.[8] X Research source
 5Pull the rubber band taut and draw a circle with the pencil. Make sure you keep the rubber band pulled taut while you draw the circle so it’s even.[9] X Research source
Drawing by Hand
 1Hold a pencil like you normally would. You want to hold the pencil using the hand you’d normally draw and write with.

2Place the tip of the pencil on a piece of paper. Choose a spot on the paper where you want to draw your circle.
 Don’t press hard on the paper with the tip of the pencil. You want to be lightly holding the pencil tip on top of the paper.
 3Move the paper in a circle underneath the pencil. Use your free hand to slowly move the paper in a circle under the pencil, which will cause the pencil to draw a circle on the paper. If you want to draw a big circle, make a big circle with the paper. If you want to draw a small circle, only make a small circle when you move the paper.
Community Q&A
 QuestionIs it possible to draw a perfect circle?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerIt’s hard to do it freehand, but you can make a perfect or almost perfect circle pretty easily by tracing a circular object or using a compass.
 QuestionHow do you draw a big circle?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerYou can set a compass at a wide setting or trace a large circular object, such as a dinner plate or the bottom of a flat frying pan.
 QuestionWhat are the parts of a circle?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerThe distance around the outside of a circle is called the circumference, while the distance across is called the diameter. If you measure from the center of the circle to a point on the outer edge, that’s the radius. Other parts include a sector (a wedge or slice of the circle that goes from the center to 2 points on the outer edge), an arc (part of the outer edge of the circle), and a chord (a line drawn through any 2 points on the circle—the diameter is a kind of chord).
Video
References
 ↑ https://www.mathsteacher.com.au/year8/ch10_geomcons/03_circles/comp.htm
 ↑ https://www.mathsteacher.com.au/year8/ch10_geomcons/03_circles/comp.htm
 ↑ https://www.mathsteacher.com.au/year8/ch10_geomcons/03_circles/comp.htm
 ↑ https://www.mathsteacher.com.au/year8/ch10_geomcons/03_circles/comp.htm
 ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yqmqESN_Oo&feature=youtu.be&t=27
 ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yqmqESN_Oo&feature=youtu.be&t=27
 ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yqmqESN_Oo&feature=youtu.be&t=27
 ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yqmqESN_Oo&feature=youtu.be&t=27
 ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yqmqESN_Oo&feature=youtu.be&t=27
About This Article
To draw a circle, take a compass with a pencil attached and place the ends on a piece of paper. Then, keeping the end without the pencil stationery, rotate the compass 360 degrees so the pencil draws a perfect circle. If you don’t have a compass, you can draw a circle using a piece of string instead. First, tie one end of the string to the tip of a pencil. Next, hold the other end of the string down on a piece of paper where you want the center of the circle to be. Then, just pull the pencil so the string is taut and draw a circle around the end of the string. If you want to learn how to draw a circle using a protractor or a pin, keep reading the article!
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