Shades and Shadows

Are you ready to make the leap from 2-Dimensions to 3-Dimensions?

It's not as hard as you'd think! In this lesson, I helped students turn a circle into a sphere, then we tried drawing some sphere-ish things like pears, vases, and cherries.

First, we practiced creating different tones with pencil. We shaded a 6 step gray scale trying to make equal steps from light to dark and trying to make smooth areas of gray...not leaving any space between strokes. It takes some practice making smooth shades...It also helps to have a soft pencil, otherwise the dark shade won't be very dark. (Including some very dark shades helps bring a drawing into a 3-dimensional look!)

I always say, "Draw what you see, not what you think you see." but sometimes it helps to know what to look for and what you might expect to see, so I taught a little bit about how light works. Basically, light comes beaming out from a specific source and lights the side facing the light and leaves the other side in the dark. Light also has a way of bouncing off things and creating reflections here and there.

Also notice that where the light rays are tangent to the circle is where the line between light and dark are. Since we're drawing spheres, that line is a curved line. (Look at me using geometry words! Tangent is when a straight line touches a circle at just one point.)

After playing around with direct light and reflected light on our spheres, I gave the students some black and white photographs to study. We tried to identify where the light source is and where reflections are happening. They chose one to draw. We had some fabulous results!