A sphere is a round solid figure with every point on its surface equidistant from the center.

shading a sphere

Here we are going to learn how to shade a sphere. You can read: The best tools a pencil drawing artist uses. The outline of the sphere has to be drawn first. The outline of a sphere would always be a circle.

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If you look at a sphere from any direction, the outline will always be a circle. Now, can you draw a perfect circle? We can do it in some other way. Draw a square. Then draw curves in all corners of the square. Erase unnecessary lines and refine the shape. You can use an HB pencil for drawing the outlines. The outline should be as light as possible so that it can be erased effortlessly if necessary.

The position of light decides how does the object reflects light and where would be the shadow. It is far away the point where dashed lines meet. Note that the region that marked on the sphere. The depth of shadow decreases as we move away from the bottom of the sphere. And at the very bottom, the boundary of the sphere and shadow is unidentifiable.

The two points where light rays meet sphere is marked and connected using a dark shade. The connection is not a straight line. We are watching the sphere from a point that is slightly above the front. If we had seen the sphere from the exact front, the two meeting points of light rays would have been connected by a straight line. Now we can shade the sphere using smooth shading technique or hatching. Try to follow the direction of contour lines to make the shading more realistic and to have the sphere 3-dimensional perspective.

Blend the shading if necessary. Smoothly blend the shades using blending stump.

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I recommend you to use 3 blending stumps for light, medium, and dark shades. Have you noticed that the intensity of the reflection is more in the image i. If the surface had been dark, the intensity of reflected light would have been very low. And the region where the reflected light incident would have been darker.

shading a sphere

The first step is to draw the outline of the sphere and then decide where to place the light source. Blend the shades using a blending stump to have a gradual transition of the shade. For your reference, light, dark, mid-tone regions are marked in the below image. Try to practice shading spheres. Have you enjoyed the step by step guide to draw a sphere? Consider sharing the tutorial with your friends! Search for: Search. Date: February 1, Author: Sibi.

We are going to draw a sphere in simple 5 steps.Shading a sphere is one of the most fundamental, useful skills for a representational artist to learn. Because when you draw the figure or portrait, you are shading basic forms that are combined in different ways to create the more complex forms of the human body. If you take the time to practice this exercise and learn the theory behind shading a sphere such as the elements of form and value drawingyou will have a much easier time applying your skills and knowledge to drawing the figure and portrait.

For now, let's focus on shading a sphere. In the previous lesson, Sphere Drawing Tutorial - Page 2we worked on creating a realistic environment for the sphere. Now that the background looks believable, it is time to turn our attention to drawing the actual sphere, beginning with the form shadow the shadow on the sphere itself. I begin rendering the sphere by filling in a general tone for the form shadow. I even it out with a bristle brush link coming soonbeing careful not to lose my original drawing.

Keep working from dark to light. Determine what the darkest value is on the sphere. In this case, it is the core shadow - the dark band that occurs where light can no longer reach the form. Once you establish this dark value, you will have a variable to which you can compare the rest of the values on the sphere. Before you even out the transition between the core shadow and the rest of the form shadow, notice the complexity of this area:. In area A, the form shadow is darker than the background, while in area B, the form shadow is lighter than the background due to light reflecting back into the sphere.

shading a sphere

As you continue rendering the sphere, constantly compare the values of the sphere to its surroundings. As you begin shading the sphere, remember that you still have values to establish.

The two remaining values are the highlight and the half-tone. You already have an accurate value for the highlight since you can leave it as the white of the paper. The challenge is to draw an accurate gradation from the highlight to the half-tone, and from the half-tone to the core shadow.

SHADING SPHERES – Gradation, Form, Colour

The gradation must represent the value relationships that you see on the sphere in order to look realistic. I begin shading the sphere from the core shadow into the half-tone, using a rendering technique called the "airplane stroke". Always keep in mind the form of the sphere.The next stage in this sphere drawing tutorial is to draw a believable background for the sphere. Drawing a background is like creating a stage for your subject. A believable environment can make the subject itself appear more realistic and believable.

To review how to draw the block-in of the sphere shown to the left, please visit this page. As we transition from the block-in to this next stage of drawing, we also shift from thinking in terms of line drawing to thinking about tonal, or value drawing.

During the block-in, you looked at the sphere with your eyes wide open, so as to see the placement of the object and its subtle contours clearly. To "set the stage" and draw the background, we will look at the sphere in a different way. Give yourself at least a few minutes to put down your pencil and simply observe the subject. Begin by looking at the sphere with your eyes open, as you have done up to this point. Then, half-close your eyes squintand observe how the values change.

Use questions such as the ones below to guide your observation. What visual information disappears when I squint at the sphere? In my case, I can no longer see a sharp line where the back of the shadow box meets the surface on which the sphere rests. Also, the core shadow darkens to the point that it merges with the background.

Because of this, I can't make out exactly where the sphere ends and the background begins. How does the contrast in the scene change when I squint? The separation of light and dark becomes very noticeable. The dark values look darker, and the light values look lighter, which means that the contrast has increased. Since the lit portion of the sphere looks much brighter, it becomes the obvious focal point, while everything else becomes secondary. At this point in the sphere drawing tutorial, squint at the sphere to determine the value of the top portion of the background.

Fill it in, beginning at the top left corner. A bristle brush can be very useful for drawing backgrounds because it is an efficient way to even out large areas of tone. Try not to take any one part of your drawing to a finish before establishing the values of the other areas. Without other values to compare to, it's difficult to determine how accurate you are, and you don't want to have to lighten or darken an area that you have spent time evening out.

To determine the value of a certain area, compare it to other values in the scene. The easiest values to compare to are white and black - the two extremes on the value scale. When I squint at the sphere, I can see that just below it, the occlusion shadow, is pitch black. I mark the darkest portion of it, and I now have another variable, besides the white of the paper, to compare to.

When I compare the occlusion shadow to the upper background, I notice that they are almost the same value, and that I definitely have room to darken the background. This is the perfect opportunity to use vine or willow charcoal, which will darken the background and even out the value simultaneously. To learn about vine and willow charcoal and how to use them, visit the Using Vine and Willow Charcoal page here.

Continue working from left to right, and top to bottom on the remaining background elements. At this point in the sphere drawing tutorial, I have filled in the cast shadow and the surface on which the sphere lies, and evened them out with a bristle brush. However, the brush doesn't usually create a perfectly even surface.

What is stopping my image from looking realistic aside from the not yet drawn sphereis the unevenness of the charcoal application. This is known as rendering. These spaces create unevenness in the values and are what break up the illusion of reality.This tutorial explains how to shade basic 3d shapes such as cubes, spheres, cylinders and cones.

Learning to correctly draw and shade basic three dimensional shapes is very important for beginner artists. Please note that in order to keep the tutorial accurate all of the examples were drawn from real life objects.

As a result this also created some small variations in the lighting conditions between them due to the main light source the sun moving through out the day. This is simply stated so that you know why some of the lighting is slightly different and has no real impact on the tutorial.

All objects still have one main light source coming from the top left and slightly to the front of them. If you were to have one of these in front of you in a similar lighting setup then the light would be coming over your left shoulder. Before getting started on this tutorial you may also want to learn about different types of shading strokes by looking at:. Also please be aware that different artists may prefer different shading methods.

For example some may use simple one directional strokes while the method in this tutorial is to apply the strokes in such a way as to help emphasize the shape of the object. Start by make a in perspective light line drawing of the cube.

You can see the Perspective Drawing Tutorial for Beginners for an explanation on how to do this. Before applying the shading there are a few things you should be aware of.

One is that generally cubes tend to have a light, medium, and a dark side. Another is that each side will also tend to have a light to dark gradient of its own. In the above example the top side of the cube is the lightest and the right side the darkest. The gradients on the left and right sides of the cube are lighter towards the bottom and darker towards the top.

This is caused by the reflection of the main light source from the surface that the cube is sitting on. The cube will also cast a shadow directly opposite the light source. In this example it will be to the right and slightly behind it.

As the main light source is fairly bright and high up above the cube it will create a well defined short shadow. Because the cube is white the shadow will also be significantly darker. For the actual process of shading the cube you can use straight crosshatch strokes. The first set of strokes will help reinforce the shape of the cube while the other set will help blend the shading making it appear more natural.

You can use a crosshatch for shading the shadow as well. Make the shadow darker at the base near the cube and lighter as it moves away form it.

You can also make the edges of the shadow more blurry the further away it is from the object. The darkest area is the point at which the curve of the sphere faces the farthest away from both the main light source and the reflection. Similar to the previous example the shadow will be cast opposite the main light source to the right and slightly behind the sphere.

When shading a sphere a good option may be to use lightly curved crosshatch strokes as the curves can help emphasize the spheres round shape. You can apply the first set in any random direction.

Apply the second set on an angle to the first one. Unlike the sphere you can use straight crosshatch strokes for the shadow. You can also apply the first set in any direction you like with the second set on a slightly angle in relation to the first one.

Make the shadow darker towards right underneath the sphere and lighter as it moves away from it. Start by making an in perspective line drawing of the cylinder.In your drawings, you will generally have one light source, which determines the location of highlights and the direction of shadows. The spot where the light hits your subject directly is called the highlight, and is usually pure white.

The side facing away from the light source will be in shadow. The midtones refer to the gradation of tones between the shadow and the highlight. Most objects will also have an area of reflected light. This reflection happens when light hits the surface next to your object and bounces back.

You will notice that these values blend into each other smoothly, which communicates to us the shape of the object. The only time you will see a hard edge is when there is a cast shadow, otherwise the tones change gradually.

The closer the cast shadow is to the object, the darker it will be, fading as it moves farther away. The key to smooth shading is learning how to control your pencil.

You need to be aware of how you hold the pencil, how you apply your strokes, and how hard you press. For darker shadows, press slightly harder and slowly lessen the pressure as you work away. Your pencil strokes should be even and regular. Try to make your pencil strokes in the same direction to get smoother results. This is easier if you hold your pencil closer to the end and at an angle, using the side of the lead to shade.

Some people like the texture of the paper showing through, but I find you get the best shading results by blending. A blending stick is a small tube of tightly rolled paper that lets you smooth out pencil shading. You can use it the same way you use your pencil: on an angle with regular strokes. Start at the lightest value and work towards the shadows. If your blending stick gets too dark, wipe it on a clean sheet of paper, or press it into your kneaded eraser.

A sphere is a good example because all of our elements are present: highlight, shadow, midtones, reflection, and cast shadow. To set up a maquette to draw from, get a ball and shine a table lamp toward it.

This is a great way to train yourself to see the different elements of shading. First, draw the outline of your sphere and the shadow it casts.

How to Draw a Sphere

Outline the edges of your shadows and highlights. Draw the highlight a little bit bigger than what you want it to end up being.Shading is the process of adding value to create the illusion of formspaceand most importantly - light in a drawing. When executed correctly, shading can make a drawing appear three dimensional and create a convincing image. Techniques used for applying shading to an object are quite varied. Each technique produces a different texture and "feel" to the drawing.

The drawing medium used may determine the shading technique that is applied in the drawing. Hatching - Lines drawn in the same direction. By drawing lines closer together, darker values are created. Leaving more space between lines results in lighter values. For rounded objects, the lines may curve slightly around the form - following the contours of the object. Cross-Hatching - Lines cross over each other. The density at which the lines cross over each other determines the value that is produced.

Blending - Smooth gradations of value are produced either by adjusting the amount of pressure applied to the medium or by using a blending tool, such a blending stump. Rendering - Using an eraser to remove the medium to produce lighter values. This technique is typically used in conjunction with blending. Random lines - Loose applications of crossing lines.

The frequency in which the lines cross over each determines the value produced. Stippling - Applying countless small dots to build up darker values in a drawing. The density of the dots determines the value produced.

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It's easy to get caught up in the technique in which the material is applied and loose sight of the reason why we apply shading in the first place. Light is how we see, after all, and shading informs us of the light within a scene.

We understand the light within the scene through the use of value and contrast. Value is the darkness or lightness of a color.Aside from being an impressive skill to brag about to your friends, knowing how to draw and shade a sphere can really help you when it comes to realistic drawings. The shading of a sphere is what shows us that it is a round, three dimensional object and not just a flat circle. Once you know how to shade a sphere, you also have the tools to shade an apple, the tip of a nose, the cheeks and forehead.

The principle is the same!

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Here we can see that the light source is coming from the left of the sphere. This puts the highlight on the left of the ball, and casts a shadow to the right.

You can see on the bottom right where the light has bounced off the floor and back onto the sphere to create a reflection in the shadowed area. Here, the light is coming from the front and to the left of the sphere.

This changes the shadows. Now the cast shadow is coming from the back of the sphere, and the highlight is more towards the middle. Notice that we still have a reflection at on the back edge of the sphere. In this example, the light is coming from behind and to the left of the sphere.

The cast shadow is in front and the highlight towards the left, top edge. The area of reflected light is now much bigger, and our shadow is darker. Backlighting is much more dramatic.

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The highlight is along the very top edge and the shadow is very deep. Your first step is to draw the outline of your sphere and the shadow it casts using a B pencil. To get the shape of the shadow right, it can sometimes help to draw the whole thing on top of the sphere, then erase your lines. Next, outline the edges of your shadows and highlights. I usually draw the highlight bigger than what I want so that I can shade up to that point and blend past it.

You want to keep the highlight as white as possible. Still using your B pencil, start to very lightly shade the area around the highlight. Work your way to the edge of the sphere and the edge of the shadow.

Squint to see the more subtle shading of this shape, and add another darker layer along the edge of the shadow. Now take your 2B pencil and shade in the entire shadow area. Try to make a gradual transition between the shadow and the midtones.

Now the fun part! Use your blending stick to blend your pencil marks together. Start at the highlight and blend inwards, keeping the center free of graphite.


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