Learn to Draw - more complex shading




More Complex Shading

In more complex forms than eggs (something that has more than just one rounded surface) shadows can be drawn by making contour shapes and then filling them in with varying grades of shadows.

Try drawing a wrinkled cloth

Take a towel, shirt, or silk handkerchief and mound it up on your desk. It should be a larger piece of cloth so you can get nice, flowing, deep folds and creases. Put one single light source on it and just look at the highlights and shadows that are shown in the heap. See how there are hills and valleys created in the wrinkles? And do you see that the "valleys" are in shadow? Can you see that you can draw the shadows in the valleys as shapes here? Remember, if you draw shapes, your logical mind isn't going to protest too much because you're not drawing anything it knows.

Try to draw your mounded up towel without your picture frame to guide you. Start by picking a prominent shadow-shape somewhere near the center of the mound and draw it's outline. Now move to a shape near the shape you just drew and draw the contour shape there. Keep in mind the "negative space" between the shapes and measure the distance and angles from shape to shape. You might want to draw several shapes before you start shading them all in so you can get the negative spaces correctly spaced. When you have several of the key shapes drawn, go ahead and start shading in the shapes. The shadow shapes you're filling in will not be all the same tone. The shadows that are closer to the light source will be darker than the shadows further away. The shadows will also not be the same tone within the same shadow-shape. Keep that in mind when you're shading. This is a bit more complicated than an egg, but it's a heck of a lot more fun, too.

Let's take a more in-depth look at shading in the nest section.

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