The Importance Of Shading!

pencil - shading and shadowing 3What is shading?

Before you begin shading, there must be an existing drawing or sketch. A drawing is a type of imaginative art on two-dimensional material. Real life is not two-dimensional, therefore there must be techniques to show the third dimension.

Shading is an art used to show the depth of a drawing. This art is especially crucial for 3D models and for illustration purposes. Imagine how you would show the depth of a portrait mug without shading the inside.

In drawing, it is very useful to be able to depict the level of depth on paper. Shading helps achieve this real and alive nature.

There are two major shading techniques:

1. Powder shading

This type of shading is used for sketches since they have some unfinished bits. Colored stamping powder and paper stumps are the basic ingredients.

2. Cross hatching

This may seem the simplest but it requires a lot skill and art. It involves use of perpendicular lines to indicate darkness levels. The closer the lines, the darker the area appears. You can try it since it requires just the novice pencil.


Why exactly is shading important for your drawing:

A. For blending

Your aim is to give the drawing life and make it look real. Drawings are plain frameworks of the intended imitations. For instance, a person’s face has some infinity ends that only shading can show. A sketch would show a continuous facial lining which is unrealistic.

Shading is very useful for blending and giving that real and natural look.

B. Building up shadows

It is natural that any matter has a shadow when exposed to light at an angle. Shadows are among basic art techniques that professional drawers desire to perfect. Shading is the only sure way to create shades against the object you are drawing.

As simple as it may seem, pencil shading is useful in showing how dark or light a shade is.

C. Creating color-tone variations

Using a novice pencil, you can indicate a change in color variation of a set of drawings. For instance, when drawing a dark person’s face. You can shade his face to look almost grayish but make his hair darker.

You can achieve this by altering the intensity of shades. With a novice pencil, you can perform any color-tone variation so long as the darkness intensity difference is significant.

D. Indication of border lines

You want to show a hairline for your portrait or a sudden change of color using your novice pencil. Small but significant shading will do wonders for you. The shading borderline gives the drawing a professional tone that is also lively.

NOTE: When shading borderlines, ensure the lines follow a contour pattern. Avoid use of too much shading on the line, as the portrait will look uneven.

What are the benefits?

What would you buy a drawing for if not for beauty? A drawing without any shading would not look appealing. Professional drawings must incorporate shading. May it be using the novice pencil or computer graphics, shading is vital.

Let us look at the major benefits of shading:

1. Shading brings Artwork to Life

Its unbelievable how pencil shading can turn your basic drawings into a live portrait. It helps to create subtle details that will make a drawing come to life. For instance when drawing a tree on a windy environment, faint shadings can indicate the direction of wind.

Without shading, a human face portrait will never look live. It just breathes life into the portrait.

2. Bringing the 3D Aspect of Nature

Naturally, almost all objects have more than two-dimensions. On the other hand, drawings are made on a two dimensional surface. When drawing a coffee mug, for instance, the outer sketch is not enough to show that it is a mug.

Shading on the inside is required to show the mug has a third side. Other complex objects requires a four dimensional shading to actualize what they really are.

3. Shading brings in professionalism

Professionalism is the hub of any art. Without shading, all drawings would look similar. This simple but vital technique defines professional artists.

4. Shading defines a drawing

A plain drawing may be difficult to interpret. Normal people have the same drawing framework. What would bring actual identification is shading. You might draw the very last line on a person’s face, but you miss his unique hairline.

Actualization of a drawing is based on the shading it has. Accurate shadings give a clear identification.

The final shading scope

A novice pencil may seem cheap but it can make your drawing look wonderful. Be creative in your shading techniques to create that unique but real imitation. Too much  shading may make your portrait look ugly while slight shadings may not be visible.

Perfect drawing is a skillful art. If you have interest, all you need is practice. While creating your shades, be open minded but stick to the real object. Practice makes perfect. Professionalism in art relies on how often you practice.






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