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• It’s the one weve all been waiting for!! SHADING!

• Stan Prokopenko here, youre watching proko.

• Form

• First let’s talk about form, because form is what we are trying to indicate when we

• In order to effectively shade form, you first need to understand the form youre shading.

• In the structure video I talked about the basic building blocks of form - spheres, cylinders

• and boxes. Organic forms found in nature, like humans, animals and trees could and should

• be constructed from these simple forms to capture the character of the subject. The

• primary form, such as a cylinder for an arm, should be dominant over any secondary forms,

• such as the bicep, tricep, deltoid, forearms muscles. And these secondary forms should

• be dominant over tertiary forms, like a vein or wrinkles. You don’t necessarily have

• to draw them in that sequence, just make sure that your shading primarily reveals the largest

• forms, and the smaller forms act as details - icing on the cake.

• Planes

• Planes can be thought of as flat tiles, arranged in 3d space to create a form. For example

• this sphere has a front plane, top plane, side planes, and many more between that together

• resemble a sphere. They create the illusion of form. Though really a sphere is rounded,

• without any flat planes, thinking of it in this way will help to imagine the sphere as

• a 3d object and aid in the shading process. You can think of each section and imagine

• which direction that plane faces. Then compare it to the direction of the light source. The

• plane facing the light is the lightest and progressively get darker as they turn away.

• This gradation of tone on the planes gives a sense of light on the form and helps to

• show the 3-dimensionality of the sphere. If you want to round out the edges to indicate

• a softer form, then soften the edge between these planes! Though sometimes leaving the

• edges between the planes hard even on what looks like a rounded form can help to illustrate

• the structure more effectively. Consider the 3-dim

• ensional form rather than just blurring edges for techniques' sake.

• I also want to point out that when youre simplifying a form, what youre doing is

• decreasing the number of planes which that form consists of. This 3d model consists of

• millions of planes, 3d artists call them polygons. When we lower the polygons down to a few thousand,

• we get something like this. Much more manageable for our brains to process. This is the level

• I'm usually thinking at when I’m observing the planes on an organic form like a figure.

• Shade these planes with soft edges and it gives the illusion of millions of planes.

• But in my mind, I’m only thinking of a few major planes for a given area.

• If you lower the polycount even further, basically what you have is the robo bean and the mannequin.

• It’s good to imagine each form as a block and identify each minor plane as either being

• part of the top, bottom, front, back or side planes.. The simple planes of a block are

• the most important ones. George Bridgman saysAvoid all elaborate and unnecessary tones

• which take away from a plane appearing to be on one of 4 major sides.”

• Light on Form

• When an object is lit by a direct light source, you will get a very predictable pattern of

• lights and shadows. We can make a form feel 3d by indicating all the parts of the lights

• Let’s do a little example. An elongated rounded form with some thinner cylindrical

• ends. This can be a generic muscle, similar to a bicep. You have the rounded belly of

• the muscle with tendons on both ends.

• First determine the angle of the light source. Let’s say top right.. And imagine the planes

• that make up this form. All the planes that face the light will belong to the light family.

• All the planes that face away from the light will belong to the shadow family.

• As a divider of the two families youll usually see a core shadow - a darker strip

• at the edge of the shadow. This core shadow shouldn’t be the same all the way the down

• the form. In the rounded belly part of the form, the core shadow will be thicker with

• a softer edge. As the form transitions to the thinner tendon, the core shadow will also

• get thinner with a sharper edge. Make sure you pay attention to what youre indicating

• with the core shadow. Avoid drawing racing stripes down the form. This usually happens

• when people think 2-dimensionally and don't consider the 3 dimensional form they're indicating.

• Is it cylindrical, cuboid, or somewhere between the two? Draw a soft, firm or hard edge accordingly.

• Reflected Light

• Fill in the shadow side with a clean dark value, but lighter than the core shadow. This

• is called the reflected light. It’s lighter because of bounce light and reflections from

• the environment illuminating this area. I always start with a flat value first, even

• if I see variations of value caused by plane changes inside the shadows. The most important

• part is to separate the shadow family from the light family.

• Later in the drawing we can work on the plane changes within the shadows if they are really

• important. Though in this example there aren't really any plane changes, just a soft gradation

• to show the rounded form. On a complex form like a figure, it’s usually a good idea

• to keep the details within the shadows quieter than the details in the lights. Most of the

• story is going to be told in the lit areas. Naturally the viewer will look into the areas

• where the light shines, so you want to put the interesting detail work there, and keep

• the shadows as the areas of rest. This drawing by Steve Huston is a really good example of

• this principle. He keeps the shading inside the shadows very simple. Here’s another

• one. He kept the shading on the bottom of the feet so simple that he completely lost

• it into the background. Same thing with the hair.

• Centerlight and Halftones

• Next, identify the point of the center light. This is the point where the plane faces directly

• to the light. The halftones appear as a gradation darkest near the core shadow and lightest

• at the center light. So, I’m thinking about how these planes get lighter as they wrap

• around toward the centerlight. Then down here, the planes start to turn downward, also getting

• darker. Once we get to the cylinder of the tendon, the planes turn back to face forward.

• Highlight

• The highlight is different from the center light, but sometimes appearing to fall very

• close to the center light. Remember, the center light is the plane that faces the light and

• the highlight is the plane that reflects the lights relative to the position of the viewer.

• A simple way to remember the interaction between the center light and highlight is - When the

• shadow is thin the highlight will be very close to the center light. When the shadow

• is large, then highlight will be farther from the centerlight, moving closer to the shadow.

• So, I’ve established the shape of the highlight and gave it a sharp edge on the side and softer

• toward the top and bottom.

• So far we have a center light, highlight, halftone, core shadow, and reflected light.

• There’s two more that were missing. These elements occur when there’s an interaction

• between two forms. So let’s introduce a random cylinder into the scene. This cylinder

• blocks light from hitting the surface of the muscle right here. That’s called a cast

• shadow, because it’s cast by the cylinder. When I draw the cast shadow shape, I use it

• to describe the shape of the object it is casting on to, not the object it is casting

• from.

• The area deep under the cylinder will get less bounce light and so it will be darker.

• That’s an occlusion shadow. Keep the edge at the cylinder sharp and the edge going away

• very soft.

• So, those are all the parts. Review all these elements and practice spotting them on directly

• lit objects.

• There are 2 other things that I look for that could affect the value of the form.

• Local Value

• The local value of the object itself shifts the value range. These 2 eggs are light exactly

• the same way, but you can see how the value range is different. On the white egg the range

• from darkest core to center light is pretty wide. On the brown egg the values get compressed

• and pushed darker.

• Interestingly, the highlight isn’t affected as much. It still gets darker, but not as

• much as the other parts. Because of that the highlight on the brown egg appears very bright.

• The value of the highlight depends on the reflectivity of the material. A glossy surface

• will have brighter highlights, whereas a highlight on a matte surface might not be visible at

• all. The effects you see on these eggs are really close to what you’d see with skin.

• Intensity of Light

• The intensity of the light also makes a big difference. Intense light will create more

• contrast between the lights and shadows. Dim light, low contrast. The intensity of the

• light can shift within the same object. For example in this figure drawing, the light

• source is above the figure, so the light is intense at the top and drops off toward the

• bottom as the forms get farther from the light source. And this is actually something you

• can cheat. You don’t have to see this on the model in order to do it. You can use it

• as a compositional trick to guide the viewer’s eye to the focal point. In this case I’m

• guiding the eye to the upper back, which has the interesting light and dark design pattern

• of the anatomy. Here's another drawing by Steve Huston, which illustrates this very

• well.

• Detailed explanation of the process - available in the premium course...

• What?! I’m sorry! I gotta leave something for the paying students! Can’t give everything

• away for freeIt’s cheap anyway, just go to proko.com/figure and you can have all

• those figure drawing fundamentals extended lessons. And a bunch of examples and stuff

• from the lessons. Do it!

• If youre posting your own drawings from these lessons on social networks, use hashtag

• prokoor tag me, @proko on facebook @stanprokopenko on instagram so I can see

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It’s the one weve all been waiting for!! SHADING!

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# How to Shade a Drawing

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vulvul posted on 2014/09/22
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