Drawing IV - Shading

In this post, we continue our still life drawing with the shading stage, the last and perhaps most difficult stage of a drawing. There are a lot of things to keep mind. We’re going to have a look at the basics then get some shading done on the drawing we’ve been working on.


What is shading? Its purpose is to create 3D forms and for that you need to add values to your drawing. Values give the shapes you’ve drawn their form, which makes them look 3D. It’s a great illusion, isn’t it? Making something look 3D on a flat sheet of paper.

Figuring out the values you’ll be using for your drawing is one of the decisions that needs to be made before you begin shading. The objects in your drawing will help to determine this as will they style of your work.

Some artists work is light and airy, like white sheets hanging on a line drying in the summer sun. They would use low tonal values in their drawing. Other artists, whose work is heavier and darker, like a drawing of a deep wood, would shade using high tone values and some very light tints for highlights.