Capturing the essence of a volleyball on paper requires more than just drawing a circle.

The intricate details, the texture, and the three-dimensional shape are essential to bringing this object to life.

In this guide, we’ll explore the techniques and steps to ink a volleyball, ensuring that your illustration is as realistic as possible.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the structure and texture of a volleyball.
  • Techniques to ink shadows and depth.
  • Tips for adding realism to your illustration.

The Structure of a Volleyball

A standard volleyball is spherical, but it’s not a perfect circle. 

It has a slightly flattened shape, especially when in use. 

Begin by sketching a light circle, then slightly flatten the top and bottom.

Inking the Panels

A volleyball has 18 rectangular panels. Start by drawing two slightly curved lines from top to bottom, dividing the ball into halves. Then, further, divide each half into nine panels using curved lines that mimic the ball’s curvature.

Texture and Details

Unlike smooth balls, volleyballs have a unique texture. Use stippling or light hatching to represent this. Don’t overdo it; subtle dots or lines will suffice.

Shadows and Depth

To give the ball a three-dimensional look, determine your light source and add shadows accordingly. The areas opposite the light source should be darker. Use cross-hatching or gradient shading to achieve this.

Final Touches

Once you’re satisfied with the structure and texture, go over your lines with a fine-tip ink pen. This will make your volleyball pop and add clarity to your illustration.


Inking a volleyball is an excellent exercise in capturing texture and form. With practice, attention to detail, and the right techniques, you can create a realistic and dynamic representation of this popular sport’s essential equipment.

When you’re inking, remember that patience is key. 

Take your time with each stroke, and don’t rush the process. With each volleyball you ink, you’ll find improvement and refinement in your technique. Happy inking!

FAQs on How to Ink a Volleyball

Q: Do I need any special type of ink to draw on a volleyball?

A: No, any high-quality ink suitable for art purposes should work. However, waterproof and smudge-proof inks are preferred for durability.

Q: Can I use colored inks or should I stick to black?

A: While traditional inking often employs black, you’re free to use colored inks to add vibrancy and a personal touch to your design.

Q: How do I prevent the ink from smearing on the curved surface?

A: It’s advisable to let the ink dry completely before proceeding with another section of the volleyball. Using quick-drying inks can also help.

Q: Are there any templates available for inking volleyballs?

A: While there aren’t specific templates, looking at various designs and sketches can give you inspiration. Consider practicing on paper first.

Q: How do I handle mistakes while inking?

A: If the ink hasn’t dried, you can try blotting it out gently with a tissue. For dried ink, incorporate the mistake into the design or use white ink or correction fluid to cover it.

Q: Can I seal the inked volleyball to protect the design?

A: Yes, using a clear protective sealant can help preserve your artwork, especially if the volleyball will be used or displayed outdoors.

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