How to draw shadows? Drawing Basics
How to draw shadows? Drawing Basics

Video: How to draw shadows? Drawing Basics

Video: How to draw shadows? Drawing Basics
Video: Pail Senseless words 2023, October

Most art schools and drawing courses teach you how to draw shadows first. Building and drawing such primitive figures as a cylinder, ball, cone, cube is a rather tedious and uninteresting business. However, it is precisely such tasks that are the first step to understanding the shape and volume of a geometric shape, as well as to the ability to depict its dark and light sides - that is, to the ability to draw shadows with a pencil in stages. In further artistic practice, the ability to correctly feel the dark and light sides will be a good help in any drawing.

how to draw shadows
how to draw shadows

If you want to make the study visual and realistic, you need to give it volume. In this article we will tell you how to draw shadows with a pencil.

Light and shadow

Drawings should be realistic and pleasing to the eye. Therefore, it is necessary to correctly combine light and shadow in them. This will give the drawings contrast, depth and feel.movement. How to learn to draw shadows so that the drawings look more alive, attractive and interesting?

how to draw shadows
how to draw shadows

A bit of theory

Have you ever thought about what allows us to see the shape of objects? Let's reveal a secret: this is a collision of light and shadow. If we put an object on a table in a windowless room and turn off the light, we won't see any form. If we illuminate the object with a very bright lamp or spotlight, then, again, we will not see its shape. It allows you to see only the light that collides with the shadow.

Neither light nor shadow falls on objects at random. There are certain patterns. They allow us to assume how the light will be located on the object, on its forms, and where the shadow will begin. And a drawing person needs to know these patterns.

how to draw shadows
how to draw shadows

Elements of chiaroscuro

In drawing, the following elements of chiaroscuro are distinguished: highlight, light, penumbra, own shadow, reflex and drop shadow. Consider each of them in order.

Glare is a spot of light that is located on a convex or flat glossy surface and is obtained due to the strong illumination of the object.

Lights are the surfaces of an object that are brightly lit.

A penumbra is a weak shadow. It occurs if the object is illuminated not by one, but by several light sources. It also forms on surfaces that face at a slight angle to the light source.

Shadow is those parts of the subject that are illuminatedweakly. A falling shadow is one that an object casts on the plane on which it stands. And his own - the one that is on the unlit side of it.

Reflex is a weak light spot, which is located in the shadow area. It is formed by rays that are reflected from other objects nearby.

The image of these light gradations allows the artist to visually depict the shape of an object on a sheet, convey its volume and degree of illumination.

how to draw shadows with a pencil
how to draw shadows with a pencil

Do these rules work for computer graphics?

Yes. Computer graphics is the same drawing. Therefore, how to draw shadows in AIS or Photoshop is no different from depicting them on paper. All the theory and all the rules that work for an image on canvas or paper work for a computer.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Materials

How to draw shadows with a pencil? First of all, you need to choose the right pencil. Of course, you can draw shadows with charcoal, sanguine, gouache, and acrylic. But at first it is better to limit yourself to a pencil.

Special drawing pencils are used for shadows. They are sold in sets. A budget option can be found at any office supply store. There is also a special paper for drawing: it is better to choose a thicker and tougher one.

There are many varieties of drawing pencils. There are soft (M, 2M, 3M, …, 8M, 9M) leads, and there are hard ones (T, 2T, 3T, …, 8T, 9T). In sets of foreign manufacturers Mis replaced by B and T by H.

For the image of shadows, a set of 3T, 2T, T, TM, M, 2M and 3M will be enough for you. For the image of light, it is better to use hard pencils, and for shadows - soft ones. This will make the drawing look more natural and easier to draw.

Let's talk about paper. Too smooth sheets, those on which we print, are not suitable for drawing. Do not use too hard paper. It will be difficult to draw shadows on it. It is best to use special drawing sheets, which are sold in a folder in stationery stores. How to draw shadows correctly? Get the right materials first.

Step two: line drawing

How to draw shadows in a picture? First of all, make a line sketch of what you want to draw. It is advisable to do this from nature, but you can also use a photograph of the object. The most important thing is that the object you have chosen is still. In this case, you will have a lot of time to sketch it.

Take a closer look at your home environment. You can draw flowers, clocks, kitchen utensils, clothes. These are all excellent subjects for sketching.

how to draw shadows with a pencil
how to draw shadows with a pencil

If you use a photo, it is better to print it in black and white. This way you will be able to more accurately depict the outline and shadows.

Step 3: achromatic colors

How to draw shadows? When working with a pencil, all achromatic colors are at your disposal. They start with white and end with black, havingseveral shades of gray in the middle.

How to create an achromatic scale? Draw a rectangle: this can be done on a separate sheet of paper or in the corner of your drawing. Divide this rectangle into five equal parts (you can have more, but 5 will be enough to start), then number them.

The very first square will be white and the last square will be black. The parts between them need to be painted over with three different shades of gray, dividing them by tone. As a result, you will have something like your pencil palette: the first rectangle is white, the second is light gray, the third is medium gray, the fourth is dark gray and the last is the darkest tone that a pencil can give.

how to draw shadows on a drawing
how to draw shadows on a drawing

Step 4: shadow theory

How to draw shadows? To do this, you need to understand their nature.

Find the main light source. Observe that the lightest ones are often closest to the light, the dark ones are further away, and the shadows fall against it. Particular attention should be paid to reflections, as they can be the brightest point of the object selected for drawing.

Step 5: Choose a Hatching Method

How to draw shadows? With hatching. It is superimposed over a pencil sketch.

Choose the way in which you will stroke the sketch, depending on the object itself, the light source and the type of drawing. There are many types of shadow hatching, and the most popular of them are straight, circular and cross.

Direct is the drawing of many parallel lines as close to each other as possible. Thisthe method is great for objects without texture and for drawing hair.

For circular hatching, you need to draw many small circles. With this hatching, you can create an interesting texture by scattering circles and supplementing them with lines. In addition, you can more clearly show the density of the object you are depicting by placing the circles close to each other.

Shaded objects by drawing intersecting lines are cross hatching. This method is great for adding depth to a drawing.

how to draw shadows in sai
how to draw shadows in sai

Step 6: Pen Test

Try making shadows. Since your drawing is still at the initial stage, you should not make them too dark. So you can easily erase them if necessary. Draw, gradually filling in the places that you need, and leave the lightest places white.

As you draw, compare your work with the object or its photo to be sure you are applying shadows in the right place.

Step 7: patience and gradual work

Add shadows in multiple layers. They need to be gradually darkened, applying layer by layer. There should be a noticeable contrast between dark and light places. Remember to use the achromatic scale: the drawing should not be in the same gray tones.

No need to rush. The process of shading the shadows is similar to the development of a black and white film: it should occur gradually. Patience is your key to success and beautiful drawings.

The more you deepen the shadows in the picture, the less noticeable it will becomecontours. And rightly so, because in real life almost nothing has a black outline. The same should be reflected in your drawing.

Step 8: Blend Eyeshadow

Now blend the shadows on your drawing. It is necessary to make them more realistic and smooth. You need to control the pressure so that it is not too strong and too weak. Blend until you are satisfied with the result.

how to learn to draw shadows
how to learn to draw shadows

If you don't have feathering, you can use a small piece of paper. The eraser will help you brighten those places that you blurred by accident. It can be a highlight, or an outline that is not completely hidden under the hatching layer.

Most importantly, remember that most drawing people, including the most famous artists, made mistakes at the initial stage of their creative path.

Tips & Tricks

draw shadows with a pencil step by step
draw shadows with a pencil step by step
  • Between your hand and the paper you are drawing on, you can put a blank sheet of printing paper: this way you will avoid spots on the drawing.
  • In order not to dirty the sketch and correct mistakes, it is better to use a vinyl eraser. Erasers made of this material do not damage paper and erase pencil marks well.
  • Don't use your finger to blend out the shading.
  • To make the difference between light and shadow more noticeable, you need to use good lighting.
  • It is better to hold the pencil at a smaller angle to the plane of the paper in order to draw with the side of the stylus, and not with its tip. So shadowsmore natural.