Ok so im a complete amatuer but i love drawing, and the idea of drawing. Unfortunately i still suck, but what id really like some help with right now is using shading.
the example here is my hand which i drew a moment ago, but when doing a self portrait i have the same problem...i can identify some major shadows but i have a lot of trouble using light and dark to show things like veins in my hands or give my hand/face more definition and shape. making it more believable. i just cant see the subtleties in light well enough to put pencil to paper and bring it out
does this make sense? how should i practise/learn shading to get good at it...
hopefuly this attachment works..
i want to add more detail but how, and what! and not to mention the shadowy bit looks very unco
Last edited by lumar; September 24th, 2006 at 03:35 AM.
Ah - crud, just had a whole huge explanation typed out when the power went out. fucksakes. anyways.
The first thing to remember is that you are almost never trying to redraw 100% percent what you see. This is because, usually 100% what you see doesn't make for a good drawing, and you fix this by interpreting your subject and taking matters into your own hands. It is up to the artist to make a good drawing, not the subject matter.
Judging lighting is always hard.
* For starters get a really sharp light into your studio or whatever. This will give a bigger difference between light and dark and make it easier to judge.
* Also, try squinting at your subject - once your eye loses all the details, there is onle light and dark.
* Establish as few highlights possible. Ideally speaking, you'd have one highlight per subject and everything else gets darker. This enhances the idea of form and light falling onto it.
* Likewise, make sure there aren't too many dark/black accents. Black is something that destroys form, and you probably want to stay clear of it, adding dark accents on the final run just to give the drawing some punch.
* Work with reflected light - even you don't see any reflected light on the subject, implement it. Relfected light is really important for creating form and often for seperating various elements.
* When working with colour, it becomes a lot more complicated - colours change in hue and temperature to represent light.
Remember: "We do not depict shadows - we use the to depict" - Mentler.
Hope this helps but ideally you'd want to get yourself an artbook. Loomis has a great way of explaining it, you can download some of his book from here
Start by drawing some white objects with simple shapes.
I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.
Loomis advises to stay clear of chalk until you have a very decent understanding of not only lighting but draing in general. That siad, Durer is a wonderful example of how lighting can be applied in painting. Also be sure to check out Caravaggio and Rembrandt for colour.
A great way to learn value(light to darks, finding the perfect balence).
Is to do a real slow, long(3 hours +) study of a photo(really big is best, with really bright sections, and blacks).
It helped me a lot, and improved my rendering-just my 2 cents
great, thanks demented and everyone for such helpful replies. when i get home tonight ill grab an egg or somtehign and put my bed lamp on my desk.
shall also dig around for a good photo / take one , as i very much like that idea.
i printed out and bound the loomis figure drawing book but man its dry. still, ill print out whichever other one looks helpful too. i like book form instead of pdf on a computer screen for things like this, heh.
The squint test is HUGE. It will reveal strange and counterintuitive truths to you. As an exercise, I was helping a friend render an eraser sitting on top of a sketchbook. Squinting at it made me realize the brown cardboard of the sketchbook appeared almost as bright as the white eraser; the sides of the white pages were darker than the brown cardboard. Things like this are counterintuitive to beginners, and so they either aren't noticed or they get ignored. Look for these nuances and use them. Trust your eyes, not your ideas of how things "should" look.
One of the big problems with the hand you posted is that the shaded areas are darkest right next to the highlights, which are quite large. You should have a smooth transition between them, reserving white for only a few areas. Shaded areas generally should be their darkest where they are close to the object edge, but not quite there. Reflected light will create a slightly brighter rim on the very edge.
Don't rush. Take your time.
Don't work too large at first. Smaller drawings make it a lot easier to create the forms. It's difficult to work quickly at the size you're using.
Keep your pencils sharp and use the edge, building up tones slowly. Don't just press the shadows in with one firm stroke--slowly layer with light pressure, building up the nuances.
Worry first about overall forms. Details can be added later or omitted.
Don't rely on outlines when doing realistic renderings. Look around--there are no outlines in real life. You can use them from time to time when they really help you get the point across, but avoid overusing them. Instead, use contrasting areas of tone to imply edges. A dark area that suddenly cuts to a light shade gives the impression of an edge just fine.
Keep drawing! If you're not satisfied, figure out what doesn't look right and try again. Remember, working small at first will help a lot.