Trying to understand the best way to draw things


Hello, I am very new to Sketchup, like 2 hours new. I have been playing around with the program and watching some of the getting started tutorials on youtube and it seems like the general idea is your supposed to start with an object and shave parts off of it rather than add rectangles. I would much rather add blocks but I didn’t have much luck getting the program to do what I wanted to. I realize i have been rather vague here, but is there a way to add blocks rather than subtract from a larger object?

I am trying to learn to use the program by replicating a piece of furniture. I then want to redesign that piece of furniture and build it from the prints I made.

Thanks for any insights you can provide.



Welcome to Sketchup! There are many ways to do almost anything in Sketchup. My recommendation is that if you want to add geometry (which I do almost exclusively), start with the line tool.

For example, if you have a square drawn, and push/pull it into a cube, then want to add a rectangle, use the line tool to place the shape and size of the rectangle on the face of the cube that you wish to add to.

At that point, push/pull tool may be an option, or you can manually use the line tool to build out the rectangle. If done correctly, the faces should fill in when complete. Then you can select the model, right click and intersect with model. In the pro version, you.can combine objects with the add/subtract tool set.

There are many ways to accomplish what you need. If necessary, I will be happy to post screen shots later this evening.

Hope this helps.


You’re not drawing things, you’re modeling them. It’s not a trivial distinction. Although there is some drawing involved, making a model is really much closer to building an object than to drawing it. Just as when you make some piece of furniture in the real world, you may draw the outlines of the pieces on the raw stock before cutting them out, but there is much more involved: you are not really drawing a piece of furniture, you are constructing it.

Same with making a model in SU. You should construct each, individual piece part of the final table or chair as you would in real life. Each piece part should then be made a group or component. (For now, use a component if you’re going to have more than one of the same piece, like chair legs or slats or stringers.

Finally, just assemble the pieces. They will snap together and fit like a dream if you made them the right dimensions. The completed article can then be a component itself.

You badly need to watch videos and read the documentation. Yoiu must learn what each of the tools does and what each element of the interface does. And most importantly, you need to learn all about inferencing.



Um…if you want to add a rectangle, why not use the Rectangle tool?




Yes, that would be more efficient. We are also talkimg about a basic User, new to the program. When I first started, I found the line tool to be more efficient, as I could better control the length and placement of an object from a single point. If this were someone who was familiar with the Sketchup basic tool set, I would have been more inclined to recommend the rectangle tool. Remember that there are many methods to achieve the same goals in Sketchup, and not everyone has the same experience level that you do.

@Spacemanspiff openly stated that he has only been using the program for 2 hours or so, meaning he is likely not yet familiar with the tool set. As he gets more familiar with the program, he will likely figure out faster and more efficient ways to accomplish the same goal in Sketchup, just as he will become more familiar with the terminology like “modeling”.

I respect your skill set and experience, but there is really no need to be abrasive.



It just seemed like odd advice, especially to a new user, to use the Line tool to draw a rectangle. Indeed, I don’t know if the OP was so much asking which tool to use as for a conceptual framework to help him approach the task of modeling generally. As for the term “modeling” versus “drawing,” words have meaning: they frame and express concepts. There’s no reason for a new user not to be tuned into the conceptually distinctive characteristics of modeling from the outset, particularly since that is what he was asking for.

I’d like you to tell me exactly what you think was “abrasive” about my question to you. I think it was a pretty legitimate question.




Perhaps it’s a poor translation through text, but you comments come off as condescending at best, and often abrasive.

“Um…if you want to add a rectangle, why not use the Rectangle tool?” is a good example. Personally, I have no issues with it. My concern is setting a negative tone for people who are new to the program or new to the forum. A negative image for the forum or the community as a whole may cause a rift between the experienced Users (such as the Sages) and newbies.

A prime example was the reason I left the Sketucation Community. I asked a question that had been asked before, and that many thought was common knowledge, and I was blasted for it. I would think that this Community would have more patience and understanding, considering the caliber of the members I have found here, including the official Sketchup Team.

Just a thought…



Good example of what? You’re using my statement as an example of itself.

As with your “advice” to the new user, you appear confused and illogical, and your words don’t make a lot of sense.




Firstly, you asked for an example of how you were being abrasive, thus I gave you an example. I could pick through different threads and give ‘other’ examples if necessary, but I chose to use the example at hand.

Secondly, this may be a better discussion to have as an aside, as I don’t think it’s fair to Spacemanspiff to hijack this thread for a discussion that has nothing to do with his issue.

If you wish to continue this discussion, we can do so via PM.



No. I asked you to explain what was abrasive about my statement, which you have yet to do. I have no interest in corresponding with you privately.



Gully, please back down. This isn’t the forum for back and forth attacking.

And for the record, the long standing training tack that we’ve officially followed for new users was to learn the line to to create rectangles before using polygon tools. The line tool for inferencing is the most effective way to learn it, which you also stated is a super important feature of SketchUp to learn ASAP.


I would consider myself an experienced user and I’ve used the line tool for every rectangle that didn’t lie on the ground (now there is the rotated rectangle tool for this, but I wouldn’t suggest it to a 2 hour user).



@Cotty, I’m sure your experience would be even more valuable to new users if you explained why you do this.



I’ve drawn a perforated plywood, I want this to follow a circular line
how do i bend it?
or how do you make a round perforated surface.
I am designing a lamp

How to bend a shape to a curve

I don’t want to explain odd advices.


@j_edensvard: Look up Chris Fullmer Shape-Bender plug-in. Though if you just want the texture, you could also make a pattern on Photoshop, and import the image into SketchUp as a texture and paint your lamp.

@Cotty @Gully_Foyle: Everyone has different methods. Can’t we all just be friends? Both are suitable for making a cube.
Line is a basic tool, so beginners generally learn the basic tools first and work their way up.
Rectangle tool is a great way to guarantee a face.


I replied to you in a new thread since it was a new question: How to bend a shape to a curve


I would really recommend going trough stuff from Harwood

This guys shows you all you need to get going and then some. Iv been using for some time, and it happens i go back and watch again from this guy.

He talks in a good way that is easy to understand, also soundwise is good. So its not hopeless to sit and watch him talk for 20min or so.


I suppose, that the right way is the Best Way !
That means;
If You can see more than one way;

  • Choose the one that You seems is the best one … !