Draw Shadows

Pencil Drawing - Tutorial - Draw Shadows.

This Page is being Updated and will up & running shortly

On this page on how to draw shadows we will look at two different types of shadows, and how they apply to both tone and textures.

This page is an extension of the pervious page dealing with how to Draw Light . Where the phases of light, tonal range and lighting was discussed. Both pages could be described as being two sides of the same coin. The one is as relevant as the other.

shadow ball
Regular Tonal Curve

It goes without saying that every artist will have his or her own methods of drawing. As a result the intensity or 'blackness' of any one grade of graphite will differ from one artist to another. It may not be by much, but literally, in the over all picture it will make a difference.

A suggestion is to make your own graphite tonal range so you can compare. Don't rush through it, take your time. Do it as if it is going to be your next masterpiece. After all, it must reflect the way you would normally draw.

Every drawing has four main elements the artist has to consider. How, and if they apply will most likely depend on the composition and style of the study.

  • True Light: These are those areas of the drawing that depict full light. They usually remain blank and left white. (Colour of the paper)
  • Colour: The colour of the 'object' been drawn usually sets the start of it's tonal range. For example, the tonal range of a yellow ball would start with a 4H grade of graphite. Whereas, a dark blue ball would start with a H grade.
  • Detail: These are areas of the drawing that are well defined. For example in portraiture these include the eyes and mouth.
  • Shadow: Probably the majority of your drawing is drawn as shadow of some sort. This covers fading light, night-light and reflected light of the 'object'. (This is been reviewed in detail on the pervious page on Draw Light.) Then consideration must be given to the tonal range of the different types of textures. Lastly, the shadow the 'object' may casts on adjoining surfaces.

It can be said that light travels in a straight line. Yes, out there in the cosmos, light is a more complex study that involves wavelengths, gravity, the Doppler effect and the like. But down here on planet Earth, the only factor the artist needs to consider is the source of light and the condition of the atmosphere.

Shadow Creates Depth

Shadow Creates Form

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