How to Draw a Pearl Necklace

Updated April 17, 2017

Pencil drawing is both a pastime for many artists as well as the foundation for other visual techniques such as oils, acrylics and pastels. An accessory such as a pearl necklace utilises the technique of shading both in the way the light hits the pearls themselves and on the shadows the pearls cast on each other and on its background. Mastering the drawing of this accessory will take much practice, but once you get the shading down, you will be able to add it into any setting you desire.

Place the pearl necklace in the manner in which you would like to draw it. Drape it over a bust if you want to draw it as if on a person or lay it out on a blank surface so the shadows are discernible and nothing else distracts from the lines of the necklace.

Angle a lamp over the necklace so the light hits it where you want it. Try different positions until you find the best combination of highlights and shading of the pearls.

Sharpen your pencil to a fine point and keep your eraser close.

Draw a wavy line to match the line of the necklace you laid out as a prop. This line will serve as the base shape for the necklace as you add pearls to it.

Outline the individual pearls on the base shape you drew previously by sketching small circles.

Shade the pearls by first noticing the dark and bright spots on the necklace you set up as a prop.

Darken the shade spots in your picture by adding layers of pencil until the appropriate darkness appears. Techniques that create dark shading include cross hatching -- shading by making small lines on top of each other; stippling -- creating small dots closer or farther together and simply pressing the pencil harder on the paper.

Use the point of the paper shading funnel to blend the shade around the individual pearls to add dimension.

Erase the highlighted points of the pearls -- where the light hits directly on the pearls -- to ensure the brightest white of the paper shines through. Also pass the eraser around the drawn necklace to get rid of smudge marks that may have happened while completing the shading.

Sketch the clasp of the pearl necklace to finish the detailing.


Wash and dry your hands before starting your drawing to remove possible interferences.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Paper shading funnel
  • Pearl necklace
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About the Author

Annelies de Groot was first published in 2007. She has contributed to local east coast papers and has worked for environmental and educational nonprofits. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John's College in Maryland.