Day 3 of Week 8 of The Art & Science of Drawing is about complexity - how to apply shading to much more complex subjects than those tackled so far.

Handling Complexity

  • apply each step to all subjects at the same time
  • draw all subjects
  • draw all lines of terminations, on all subjects
  • draw all cast shadows
  • and so on…

Common mistakes

  • do the shading for one subject and then move to the next subject
    • this usually gives fractures in the shading
    • it is easy to loose the overall cohesion and organization
  • add shading without thinking
    • creates confusion
    • easy to miss essential light and shadow patterns

The Subject: A Wooden Toy Train

  • drawing wooden toys is a very good exercise, as the toys are usually made of simple basic forms
  • the subject is lit from the upper-right

Preparing to Shade

  • make sure you have drawn correctly the form
    • common mistake: start shading before making sure the form is correctly drawn
    • no ammount of shading will solve problems with basic volumes, perspective or proportion

Defining Form Shadows

  • draw the line of termination on all forms
  • once all lines of termination have been drawn, fill the shadow areas with a light wash

Defining Cast Shadows

  • draw cast shadows made by:
    • a part of the object on another part of the object
    • the whole object on the ground plane
  • fill the cast shadow with a darker wash than that used to fill the form shadow

  • draw the occlusion shadows (the darkest)

  • draw the rim shadows

Do not continue until you get something that makes sense! The light and shadow patterns should make sense at this point!

Adding Core Shadows

  • add the core shadows to all areas

Darkening Cast Shadows

  • add drama by darkening the cast shadows

Refining Values

  • refinement should not obscure the greater light/shadow patterns
  • simple rule of thumb: no value on the shadow side of the line of termination should be lighter than those on the lit side of the line of termination
  • drawing the background usually give a sense of finish to the drawing
    • one good technique is to add dark background near the light areas of the subject

The Assignment

  • apply the shadng process to a complex subject containing many hybrid volumes
  • do not use any organic forms
  • steps (reminder):
    • prepare to shade by lightly drawing your basic volumes
    • define the form shadows with the line of termination & a light wash of value
    • define the cast shadows by drawing their shape and then filling them in with value
    • add the core shadows
    • darken the cast shadows
    • refine the drawing by adding mid tones & making any necessary value adjustments

Paper basic object and tea lights
Paper basic object and tea lights
The assignment
The assignment