Shading for beginners

Published by Otian Peter on

Shading for beginners seem difficult at first, especially when it comes to realism. Drawing is like human-anatomy. If making a sketch is the skelenton then shading is the flesh, muscles and skin. That is to say shading gives life to your art.

What is shading

Shading is a technique used in visual arts, to create depth, position of light, height and also used to create the relationship between the subject and light source. The essence of this technique is to create a realistic illusion to the viewer.

Now there are different media to create shade but the simplest is the pencil. In this little tutorial, I’m going to show you an easy trick to shading for beginners. If you’re having issues understanding how shading works this should help.

Most professionals always recommend beginners starting with round object before progressing to other forms.

Ball Shading for Beginners

Step 1

Make a circle with a pencil, Preferably a light pencil, hb pencil will be fine. Your circle doesn’t need to be a perfect circle. Below is my circle, doesn’t look pretty but it’ll do.

Step 2

Make marks of the different tones of shade you want to create.

See also: Types of shading technique

Step 3

Shade the different sections of the ball with different tones, from light to dark.

Step 4

After shading all sections blend the lines between with a blending tool. I used tortilon, if you don’t have tortilon you can use ear bud.

Step 5

Blend evenly till you get an even tone. Make sure you give place for highlight, it gives nice effect. If you covered the highlight by mistake you can make use of eraser to make it visible.


Wrapping things up

This is a short step by step picture tutorial to aid shading for beginners. The materials i used here are hb pencil, 4b pencil, 6b pencil, emboss paper and blending tool. I used emboss paper with tooth (rough surface), during your practice I’ll suggest your paper surface shouldn’t be as rough as mine, so blending becomes even and easy. Remember practice makes perfect.


Otian Peter

Otian Peter is a Fine Artist, Graphics designer, Web designer and motivational speaker. He is absolutely fascinated with creativity; lives to create art, and inspire others.

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