December 06, 2013

Drawspace lesson J06: How to create a shading map.

You might remember that one of the reasons I started taking the Drawspace lessons was to learn how to shade properly. So while the drawing part went ok, the shading part was not so good. To be more exact, I wanted to know the trick of the proper shade placement. I mean, how the hell am I supposed to know where to place highlights and the dark spots?

Since the beginning of the program I kept thinking to myself: What if there is no such a lesson in the program? What if this subject is skipped? This question kept me busy for some time. At a time I didn't even know it was called a shade mapping!

But finally, the time has come. Lesson J06 suggests such a method.

It is actually a variation of a drawing by numbers method. You find your highlight spots, the medium and dark spots, turn them into shapes and fill with color after wards.
I did the outline of the suggested face and the spots and immediately got lots in it.
I mean, come on, it's a human face, not a very friendly subject for a newbie like me!

So I decided to go for a simpler subject and since this lesson is about shading and not drawing there would be nothing wrong if I would take something like a tennis ball or a tea mug.

This is the ball I sketched.
I really tried to find all the bright and dark sports, but since the light was very even and the form is perfect, finding the highlights and dark spots was not that easy (see the paradox?).

For that reason I decided to do a sketch of a coffee cup.

On my way to the kitchen for the cup I decided to do another sketch of the tennis ball and shade it with Squirckles. I thought that since the ball has a soft and woolly texture, Squircles might be a better choice here. On that note, I decided to go and look what the tennis ball is made of, and apparently, it is made of fibrous felt.

This is the second sketch.
Indeed this shading technique felt a bit better fitting for this king of object. I did two sets of shading; the second one was done 2 days after the first session. I added some more dark values but still, it seems, it was not enough. Also, I still make my Squirkles a bit larger than they should be, so that's another thing to practice on.

This is the coffee cup.
It felt weird shading it. Several times I tried to rotate my sheet to make the shading easier but then I would "loose" the proper image. When I tried to lean my head on my shoulder - my lighting would change. I decided not to continue with it at the moment but I did make a note to myself to keep and draw a cup's handle; it appears to be the most interesting part of this object.

P.S Just checked the upcoming lessons. Apparently, I should go and buy some charcoal.