Foundations of Drawing
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating form with shadows and light


From:

Foundations of Drawing

with Will Kemp

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Video: Creating form with shadows and light

So now we're going to turn a form with shadows. And look at some basic pencil techniques that achieve one tone next to another tone. To create the illusion form. This technique will really help if you ever want to go into painting. Where we use blocks of color next to each other. To build up a realistic effect. I've chosen a cone because we can get to see how light works on a specific shape with a long cast shadow. So I have got my tonal ground here laid out and what I've started to do is just draw out the actual line drawing of the cone.
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Watch the Online Video Course Foundations of Drawing
2h 24m Beginner Apr 28, 2014

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Anyone can learn how to draw. Success comes down to three things:

Shape: By focusing on the shapes of the objects (and more importantly the shapes between the objects) you can view subjects with a whole new outlook and focus.

Simplicity: You'll get better results by concentrating on simple subjects and drawing techniques that will still prove powerful when used together.

Structure: A structured approach makes drawing easier to master.

Each chapter in this course is built on these three principles, combining drawing theory and practical examples with worksheets and drawing assignments. Will Kemp brings his passion for teaching and infectious love of drawing together in these lessons. You'll learn about line, value, tone, negative space, and perspective, and come away with the confidence to start making drawing a daily practice.

This course was created and produced by Will Kemp. We're honored to host this training in our library.

Topics include:
  • Materials you need to draw
  • Drawing theory
  • Framing your composition
  • Using the picture plane
  • Creating contrast
  • Using negative space to create more powerful compositions
  • Creating form from shadows and light
Subject:
Design
Author:
Will Kemp

Creating form with shadows and light

So now we're going to turn a form with shadows. And look at some basic pencil techniques that achieve one tone next to another tone. To create the illusion form. This technique will really help if you ever want to go into painting. Where we use blocks of color next to each other. To build up a realistic effect. I've chosen a cone because we can get to see how light works on a specific shape with a long cast shadow. So I have got my tonal ground here laid out and what I've started to do is just draw out the actual line drawing of the cone.

So you can use a ruler for this if you like just to make sure you get some nice straight lines here And get a nice straight horizon to work to. Also, if you notice where the shadow line is, where the actual cast shadow. So the cast shadow is always going to be darkest where there's the least amount of light. So that's always going to be here, in the shadow side of the actual cone. And if you look carefully, you'll see that this triangle here. Which has quite a dark shadow, too, and the softer shadow on the outside of it that just really softens out as it goes out toward the edge The next line that I'm going to put in is the line that you split through the center.

Comes down there, a very slight angle. And this is what's called the shadow line. And this is where the light hits this side of the cone and then turns around the form and then goes into shadow. So the first thing that I'm going to do, just to try and bring out the shape and concentrate more on the tones, even though we got lines here to start with, is just use the plastic eraser and just look for the real brightest highlights and take back So that's going to be on this edge here.

Under the bottom of the cone, it's always going to curve round and have that That round to it. And I'm just lightening off the pressure as I go towards the middle of the cone. And now I can also pull it out on this side, so I'm just working up to that edge.

And then try and keep it soft when you go to the edge of the shadow line, so it can be harder to the edge of the table, the top Then you can use the party eraser, to try and get that softer line when it gets to how it really blends in here.

Clear on this bottom side keep that nice and soft that edge. And your softness or hardness of edges can make a massive difference in your drawings to really focus the view where you want. 'Cause you'll notice here where it's really dark, it has a sharper edge to it, so I can swap to the plastic eraser here Could go a bit darker there.

So now I can start putting these real darker tones here.

So I'm just working within the contours of the actual shape.

There's a slight darker triangle in here. SOUND Here, this slight lighter is getting some of this bounced light from around it. From the white paper that's bouncing up into it. This is with harder pencil like a TB or an HB. Very fine line just under there. And, just that idea of sharpness there.

It just help, just to pin your eye and just put a bit of focus in it, where you keep the rest very soft. So now if I want to enhance this edge so it feels more like it's coming out towards us, I can just darken down this side. So, I'm just reinforcing those basic shapes.

So now I've got an emphasis here on this top part of the triangle. And then I've got that triangular shape happening there in the shadow tone. And that's looking great. It's a really simple way to start to bring form into the shapes you're looking at.

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