Light, Shadows, and Shading

Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Drawing | 1 comment

One of the first and foremost concepts an artist will have to become familiar with is how to draw different amounts of lighting. Drawing lighting and shadows correctly makes a tremendous difference in a picture’s overall quality. This is because shadows are a huge part of what creates the illusion of three dimensional space on paper, a two dimensional environment.

Being able to identify the primary light source of your drawing is the most important aspect to understand about illustrating light and shadow. Examine how and where light reflects off of your drawing’s subject. Pay special attention to which areas are covered by shadow, especially when those shadows are cast by the light being blocked by part of the subject (such as around a person’s nose).

drawing showing use of light and shadowThere are many ways to go about filling in shadows. One of the most popular is hatching. Hatching involves drawing a series of parallel lines to create the effect of a shadow. They can be placed right on top of one another or spaced slightly apart to create dark areas and areas with spread out light, respectively.

You will have to be able to understand areas of light and darkness in terms of grayscales to translate them from real images to drawings. Using pencils of different hardness and using more or less pressure can do a lot to help you capture all of the different possible values of gray. This is difficult and takes a lot of practice. One way to get in a lot of practice is to draw a ball against a strong light source again and again until you get it down.

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Why use Pastels?

Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Drawing, Pastels | 1 comment

drawing with pastelsWhen they are just starting out, some artists have difficulty isolating which medium would best represent their goals for a piece. There are many to choose from, each with their own benefits and disadvantages. Today, we’ll examine pastels.

Like paints, pastels are made from pigments attached to binding chemicals, but they are special because the amount of binder they need is much lower than other mediums. This gives them vibrant colors that are hard to accomplish in other mediums.

There are many benefits to using pastels. They are not as expensive as colored pencils, and are more portable than paints and brushes. They can vary in hardness depending on the type of pastel and the brand. Harder pastels will draw edges better and be easier to create details with, while soft pastels have higher pigment concentration.

However, pastels do have a few drawbacks. Primarily, a finished work must be glazed, otherwise it may smudge when it’s dusted later. The actual pastels themselves are often brittle and break easily, so it’s important to be careful when transporting them.

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