How to Shade Figures


Welcome to my website that will guide you through the steps of mastering the skill of shading. Shading is essential in all art; it builds the shape and form. I will do my best to give you as much information that is needed for you artist to understand the basic concepts. I break the rules down into simple sections. Read them and practice some lessons given in each. Hope you enjoy!


When we artist tend to shade, we first decide our lighting’s source. The lighting source is the light’s direction in your art piece. Many artist tend to pick either the left or right. Common artist use the left, and as do I. When shading, you should always be careful. You sometimes could shade the wrong spots on your figure. Many beginner artists shade a figure as if there were two suns. Think of it like this: You draw a circle and a sun on the top right corner. You want to shade your circle on the left side facing the opposite side of the sun. For an exercise, draw a round ball, square, and triangle in a row. Pick your light source by drawing a sun anywhere. Then start to shade on the opposite side of the sun’s light on each figure. Try to give each shape a form of precise shade. Good luck, and if you must, use my image below as a reference.


Another way to shade well is to understand where your figure is; in it’s environment. Maybe you’re figure is under a tree, or perhaps a building. You must realize an object that somewhat covers your light source. Be sure you know the direction of the which the light is facing. As for the sun, the sun is up high, and if it is a little left to a tree, the sun may slip it’s light under the tree. This could effect your figure. The figure might have some shading spots of leaves, or maybe a bold spot of shade from a building that it is under. What if your figure was near a lamp? The lamp light is on, and it is due midnight. When the lamp is on, there is a dim cap. That dim cap does affect the amount of light on your figure. You must know where your figure is in it’s environment. For an exercise, draw a figure under a half shaded building with the facing any direction. If you must, use my drawing below as a reference.

Different Types of Shading

There are many types of shading, and is very important. Each type is used to shade certain objects. There is blended shading; one of the most popular methods. Then there is circulism; it is when you shade in a circular motion. You can make it blend with blended circulism. The most toughest way to shade is the dark blacks method; when you shade with complete darkness. The final method is the easiest for me, which is loose cross hatching. You can view the examples of shading methods here: Shading Methods.

How to Shade A Car

Again, another great find. I have found 2 great drawing tutorials. One from YouTube and the other from Dragoart. I have to say, this FinalProdigy guys is one of my favorite artists on the web. It is he who knows how to shade such artwork. Below is his drawing tutorial and the video above is from YouTube (Duh.) Hope you find them both helpful, and of course be sure to view my tutorial on how to shade because it will help you a bunch on shading in the near future. If you want to view the original version of the tutorial below, go here: How to Draw A Realistic Car.

How to Shade A Car

How to Shade 3D Objects

Well, normally I had this drawing tutorial on the website before, but technically the site went down, but like they all say, “Something happens for a reason.” When the site was down, we found a free/opensource CMS called WordPress. Now we’re all fine and we can finally teach lot’s of stuff. You might ask yourself what this is all about, and the answer to that is “Happiness.” We can finally share some tutorials; the real deal. So let’s get started with shading 3D objects.

When you shade, you have to know your light source. How do you solve that problem? You basically choose where the light is coming from. Why do you need this? It’s because the light part of the object or thing will be shining at the direction where the light is facing and the darker parts will be pointing at the areas where the light doesn’t point. It’s like the light is fading right when it’s direction is coming left. Pretty simple, isn’t it?

After finding the light source, start the sketching and smudging process. That’s right, just within two steps your finally ready to start. There’s a video above that will show you some techniques of sketching 3D objects (Exampe: A Cylinder.) Enjoy, leave a comment, and share with your friends.