Join Will Kemp for an in-depth discussion in this video Cast-shadow-tone drawing: The line drawing, part of Foundations of Drawing: Light and Shadow.
So now we can start to put some of this theory into practice with a pencil drawing, focusing on soft and sharp edges and how light affects the form. We'll be creating a drawing of an apple, but it'll be disguised as a sphere. We'll start with a simple circle and build up the shapes from there. You'll need a 2B pencil, a 6B pencil, a frame, a putty eraser, and a paper stamp. These are going to be so handy, the paper stamp and the putty eraser just to blend out and soften out the edges of our drawing.
You'd also just need a simple circular object to draw around and this will be the great starting point to build the form of our drawing. Let's look at the thought process behind how I chose a reference image for this drawing. So for, this first example where object has been placed in direct sunlight, and sunlight acts like a flashlight. It gives really hard angles and very hard shadows, and just note how long the cast shadow is. In comparison to the size of the apple, this gives you the indication that the sunlight was very low in the sky.
And also, has very hard reflections on the surface that's facing the light. You could still make a drawing of the subject, but the tendency would be to overemphasize the crispness of the edges. And often beginners will give everything the same weight and power. And this usually results in a drawing that feels very cartoon-like, everything has been outlined around, and overworked. So to get the best possible results to give a realistic effect, if you choose a subject or an image that's already got hard and soft areas already within it, it can really help with your drawing.
So for this demonstration I've chosen a softer light. The light is higher up, so if you notice now it's got a shorter cast shadow. And the cast shadow's got a lot softer edges onto it. The highlight on the edge of the apple is also softer as well. And the shadow line is more subtle. Another thing to note, is because the apple is red this is often quite a hard color to judge its lightness and darkness because we often perceive it to be brighter than it actually is. So I've just turned the image into black and white that you can work along from.
It just makes it easier to judge the tones. So now we can just focus on the tone rather than being distracted by the color. So let's get started with the drawing. The first thing I do is lightly draw around a round object. This is just using a 2B pencil and this will help you to get a starting point for your drawing. So we can easily put into practice the theory of the sphere. So then I judge the widest part of the cast shadow to the left, and just make a mark on the page. And I can now start to judge the ellipse shape of the cast shadow.
And it's easiest to draw the ellipse by imagining the whole lip shape, cutting through the circle. So I draw two ellipses, the darker inner line and the softer outer line,and the softer outer line touches the mark that I've just put on to the paper. So that's the furthest point, the widest point of the cast shadow. Next, here we're using the TB pencil, I'll start to draw in straight lines to indicate the form of the apple. By looking for the angles, it'll help make your apple look more realistic, rather than trying to put curves in.
Look for those angles, and the curvature of the form will just come out within your drawing. So, now I'm adding the detail to the stalk and looking for the shadow shapes underneath the stalk. I've also indicated the shape of the highlight, and I can start to refine the cast shadow shape. And when I squint my eyes, this really helps me to see the shadow line. And you'll see how it's a line, but it's slightly curved and once I've got the top line on, I now put another curved line below the shadow line.
And this indicates the band where the form shadow calls forth within. And the form shadow call, this would be darkest area of the apple. So now we've got the basic line drawing, we can start to built up the tones.
- Identifying the light sources
- Understanding the history of light and shadow in art
- Working with different lighting angles
- Working with line and tone shadow patterns
- Creating form with pencils, chalk, and charcoal