How to Draw a Suspension Bridge

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Bridges are a common sight in most larger urban areas and often the largest and most impressive of these bridges are suspension bridges. There are many different types and variations of suspension bridges, some of which are more difficult to draw than others, but the classic, most easily recognized type is relatively simple to draw. The following steps show you how to sketch a simple suspension bridge; this is not any one specific bridge, so you can make adjustments as necessary to draw a particular bridge or simply for the sake of aesthetics.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Draw a long, thin horizontal rectangle. This will form the main body, or "deck" of the bridge. It can be as long or as short as you want it to be but should remain quite thin.

  • Add two short, but thicker horizontal rectangles to the sides of the deck. These rectangles should connect edge-to-edge with the main deck, and should be lined up with it to extend the deck's top line further out to each side. These rectangles are the abutments of the bridge, the large blocks that connect the deck to the ground on either side.

  • Draw two very thin vertical rectangles crossing through the deck. Most of the length of these rectangles should be above the top of the deck, but the bottoms should extend below the bottom edges of the abutments. These rectangles form the towers of the bridge. You should place these towers approximately at one-quarter and three-quarters of the length of the overall bridge (including the abutments), leaving about half of the overall length between them. The towers can be simple rectangles, or you can make them tapering, wider at the bottom than at the top. Erase the portions of the deck where the towers overlap it.

  • Draw a curved line connecting the tops of the two towers and drooping down toward the deck in the middle. This line can remain relatively high in the middle or it can droop almost to the point of touching the deck. Add to this two curved lines connecting the outsides of the tower tops with the bottoms of the two abutments. These curved lines are the suspension cables of the bridge.

  • Add vertical lines at regular intervals connecting the suspension cable with the deck of the bridge. These lines are the suspenders of the bridge. These cables are thinner than the suspension cable, so you may want to draw them more lightly. These cables do not continue past the point at which the suspension cable crosses the top edge of the deck on either side.

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