How to Shade Your Drawing

We have made it to Lesson 4 Shading Techniques!

What is shading? Shading is a technique used by illustrators, designers, and other visual artists to create the illusion of depth in a two-dimensional medium. This is achieved by adding a denser amount of media in order to create darker points in the work that correspond with a specific light source. Source

In these lessons I will show you four different shading techniques that are super easy to implement into your art projects.

Hatching, Cross-hatching, Stippling and Blending (which is my favorite.)

1. What is Hatching? Hatching (hachure in French) is an artistic technique used to create tonal or shading effects by drawing (or painting or scribing) closely spaced parallel lines. (It is also used in monochromaticheraldic representations to indicate what the tincture of a “full-colour” emblazon would be.) When lines are placed at an angle to one another, it is called cross-hatching. Source

2. What is Crosshatching? Crosshatching is the drawing of two layers of hatching at right-angles to create a mesh-like pattern. Multiple layers in varying directions can be used to create textures. Crosshatching is often used to create tonal effects, by varying the spacing of lines or by adding additional layers of lines. Crosshatching is used in pencil drawing, but is particularly useful with pen andink drawing, to create the impression of areas of tone, since the pen can only create a solid black line. Source

3. What is Stippling? Stippling involves covering an area with dots. What comes right to mind is a wildly time-consuming technique, done with a technical pen and ink (usually black), in which an image is drawn dot by dot by dot. (One may also stipple glass, an engraving plate, a quilt, or even an interior wall.) Source

4. What is blending? Blending is a term used often in art, particularly in painting and drawing. It is the technique of gently intermingling two or more colors or values to create a gradual transition or to soften lines. As an artist, it’s important to practice blending in any medium you choose to work with. Source

Out of these four shading techniques my favorite by far is blending. The transition feels the smoothest to me and the act of blending is very relaxing to me. (If I don’t mention this enough already.)

Have you tried any of these techniques in these lessons? Visit my YouTube for free online art lessons.

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