It sounds so trivial, drawing shadow shapes. But the fact is a lot of artists struggle with drawing, or shading in shadow shapes. A different term for this is “blocking in”. Some artists simply just don’t see shadows. They cannot see blocks of tone.
We’re all good at one thing right? I have always had an easy time of seeing shadows shapes. Line however was really tough for me. How about you, do see more with line instead of tone?
The goal is to become balanced with the way we see. Of course you can make something really dimensional with just line. However when you can add line with tone things get a little more interesting.
It sounds so trivial, ds
The Dark Line
The Dark Shape
Once filled in with a wash of tone, the dark shape appears and with it, a sense of structure and solidity comes about.
For those of you who struggle with seeing the proper shadow value here are a couple of tips.
Always squint at your reference to see the simple shadow and light shapes. Squinting takes away all of the detail.
Go into every drawing, if you are trying to draw with tone, understanding there should always be a three value set up. Try to structure your drawings with a dark, middle tone and light value. This will force you be more conscious of shadow shapes.
Ask yourself the question, where is the light coming from? If you understand your light source, you will ultimately understand where the shadow shapes are.
Lastly, shade your shadow shapes with a solid tone. Don’t let patches of white paper show through, this will muddy up your lights and darks.
If you enjoyed watching the critiques I would encourage you to get your drawings looked at. Sometimes we get so close to our own artwork that we cannot see what we are struggling with. Worst yet we don’t know how to get past the roadblock.