Starting now Week 7 of The Art & Science of Drawing. These two last weeks are all about shading.

  • we can’t see (or draw) any object if it is sitting in complete blackness
  • we are drawing the impact of the light on the objects, not the objects themselves
  • diagonal light from a single source that is above, in front, and on a side (left or right) of the subject is usually best for describing shape
    • this way 2334 of the subject is in light and 1413 is in shadow
    • historically, this arrangement was obtained drawing light through a single window

The value scale

  • value: the degree of relative lightness or darkness of a color
  • draw a long rectangle and split it in 5 boxes
  • start on one side with the darkest value (black) and mark it as value No. 5
  • if using white paper, on the other side of the scale we have our value No. 1 - we will not darken this box at all
  • start filling the middle box with value No. 3
    • try to get a value in the middle between the No. 5 and No. 1
    • you can leave it a bit lighter and darken it later, when adding No. 2 and No. 4
  • draw No. 4
    • again, leave some room for refinement
  • draw No. 2
  • start refining No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 until you get them evenly set between No. 1 and No. 5
  • once finishing the scale, try to make some gradations under each box, starting with the current value and finishing with the next value (for example, under No.4, draw a gradation from No. 4 to No. 3)

    • try to repeat these until you can make them on command, without the value scale
  • repeat the process using a toned paper, a black pencil and a white paper.

The assignment

  • create two value scales
  • each value scale will have five steps
  • one scale should be on white paper using a black pencil
  • the other one will be done on gray paper using a black and a white pencils
  • practice making each individual value

Value charts on white wrapping paper
Value charts on white wrapping paper
Value chart on colored paper 1
Value chart on colored paper 1
Value chart on colored paper 2
Value chart on colored paper 2