Pencil Shading Techniques Beyond Cross Hatching

Mastering shadows is essential for adding convincing form to your line drawings. Add substance and three-dimensional form to your pencil drawing subjects with proper shading techniques that go beyond basic cross hatching.

Instructor Jon deMartin points out that in order to draw convincing forms, an artist must become a master at modeling gradations. The best way to conquer gradation is to practice shading shapes like cylinders before moving onto more complicated forms and the figure. By modeling gradated values on shapes such as cylinders, artists are able to draw realistic forms that turn in space.

Best free shading tutorial!

Allow Jon deMartin to walk you through his fundamental shading techniques as he focuses on how to make smooth gradations, how surfaces relate to a light source, and how to identify ways to model an object or figure’s planes. Study the ways in which he gradates the values appearing on a form to truly make a cylinder appear round.

Add substance and tone to your pencil drawings and sketches by understanding the concept of gradations and learning to create gradated values with confidence. This lesson includes deMartin’s impressive illustrations using various gradations and the detailed descriptions on how they were accomplished.

Whether you’re drawing portraits, drawing landscapes or sketching for a painting, drawing shadows is the way to achieve perspective and depth in your compositions. We know you will find the expert tips included in this free shading tutorial extremely clear, complete and useful.

shading shapes

Lesson 1:
Modeling Value Gradations on a Curvilinear Solid

Practice modeling value gradations on a curvilinear solid – a form with round surfaces that curve in one direction no matter its orientation.

shading art

Lesson 2:
Creating Illusions

Gradations going from dark to light to dark create the illusion of a cylinder.


Lesson 3:
Value Scales

Value scales with the values "chopped" into clear units, enables the artist to make better value comparisons.


Lesson 4:
The Power of Darkness

Light is often most effective when contrasted with shadow. Here’s a look at how 10 artists used shadows to strengthen the conception and composition of their drawings.

No matter what you draw, if the proper amount of gradation is not understood, the illusion of form will suffer. The human figure for example, if drawn without gradations, appears to have sharp edges that resemble boxes. Drawing light and shadow through gradations reveals the true character of the forms. Learn how to render any physical surface by expressing its relation to the light source with gradations. You will not be disappointed. Discover the power and importance of proper gradation; learn pencil shading from this download today.

Access this free drawing tutorial to enjoy shading shapes lessons at your fingertips.


shading that goes beyond cross-hatching