How to Create 3D Effects with Shading

Written by charles pearson
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Shading is necessary to create depth and the illusion of a three dimensional image. Shading also gives an object a more realistic look. Shading is one of the first skills that is learnt by an artist, but shading is always improved upon and never completely mastered.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Drawing Pencil
  • Small Tortillion
  • Drawing Paper

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  1. 1

    Draw a line indicating the horizon line. This will serve as your table indicator. Next, draw your form. I chose a teacup because of the curves.

    How to Create 3D Effects with Shading
  2. 2

    Look at the object you drew, and think about where you would like your light source to come from. I chose my light source to come from the left. Draw lines indicating where you want your light and shadow to come from. Remain consistent.

    How to Create 3D Effects with Shading
  3. 3

    Shade in your darkest areas first. This way, when you blend and fade your dark shades with your tortillion and tissue, you can bleed into your mid-tones. Next, take the dirty tissue, and create a shadow on the table that pulls away from the object and light source.

    How to Create 3D Effects with Shading
  4. 4

    Add your lighter mid-tones to your object and leave your light source white. Take your tortillion, and blend your tones into each other. Next, darken your shadow on the table, shadow your horizon line and rub gently with your tissue. Erase any smudges that may have bled into your light source areas on your object.

    How to Create 3D Effects with Shading

Tips and warnings

  • Practice shading on objects first
  • Practice drawing and shading round objects first before trying boxes, glass, and other objects
  • Don't rush when drawing. It takes time to create a work of art.

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