30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 19- Cube with Shadows/Value

30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 19- Shadows

How did you do with your perspective drawing of a cube yesterday?  I hope it felt as if you were enlightened with a simple way to digest 2-point perspective.  Today we will build on that concept a bit, and bring life to our cubes with shadows.  
In today’s free drawing lesson, I will challenge you to think about shadows.  Shadows are definitely what brings a line drawing to life.  They add dimension and form.  They give a sense of light, and depth.  They bring mood to our subject matter.  It’s important to understand them, and once you do, you’ll find it will help you with all kinds of artwork.  Whether you draw or paint, these concepts are really important!
There are some simple ideas surrounding shadow, which we should all know about.  First of all, there are two kinds of shadows: 
  • Form shadows are found on the surface of objects in areas where the object turns away from the light source. 
  • Cast Shadows- are shadows created when an object blocks the light from hitting an adjacent surface.  Every object that blocks light has a cast shadow associated with it.  

Cast shadows are always opposite the source of light.  So, they change.  As the source of light changes, so does it’s cast shadow.  The closer to the horizon the light source is, the longer the shadow.  

Cast Shadows also vary in intensity or darkness.  As artists, we could also say that they vary in VALUE.

The general rule of thumb is: shadows are darkest in value closer to the object casting the shadow.  

If the object is a reflective object, then things change, but for most objects, you can assume that the shadow will be darkest closer to whatever is casting the shadow.  

Form shadows are found on the surface of objects and are determined by the shape of the object which is turning away from the light.  Generally, the more steeply the object turns away from light, the quicker the value shift or change in value will be.  
(For more on how to draw a rounded shape you can follow this link – Link to 30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 11- Drawing Rounded Forms.) 

To show an Angled corner, create a dramatic value shift, and this will tell us that a drastic change in direction of the surface has occurred. 


Today we will build on the knowledge gained yesterday in learning how to draw a cube. We will add shadows to make our cube look 3-D.  
(In Case you missed yesterday’s challenge, here is a link: 30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 18- How to Draw a Cube)

Note:

  • The darkest cast shadows are found closest to the object and where there is the least amount of bounced light.  
  • The shadows become lighter as they move away from the object. 
  • Drastic changes of value tell us that a dramatic change in direction of the surface has occurred. 
Today’s Challenge How to Draw a Cube with Shadows 
(Make it Look 3-D)
Materials:
Graphite pencil
Eraser
Paper
Step 1: Draw a Cube in Perspective. You could draw a box from life, or you could make one up.  Your cube can be solid as in the first reference photo above, or it can be an open box as in my drawing above. (In Case you missed yesterday’s challenge, here is a link: 30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 18- How to Draw a Cube)
Step 2: Determine your light source and add light and add form shadows to the surfaces of your cube.  The lightest areas will be those getting hit by sun at a 90 degree angle.  Less Direct light will be slightly darker.  Those surfaces away from the light entirely will be darkest. (You may need to adjust your values as you go along, because all values are relative to one another.  Your pencil may not be able to get as dark as what you see.)

Step 3: Now draw the CAST SHADOWS. Remember that the shadow will get lighter as it moves away from the object casting the shadow.  

A Couple of hints for you: 

  •  Pay attention to the edge quality of the shadow.  Sometimes shadows are hard or crisp edged (usually in areas of dramatic shadow), and other times they are softer(as the shadow fades, sometimes the edges will get softer or more “smudged” in appearance).  
  • Sometimes it’s helpful to leave a little gap of light between the base of object and the deepest part of the cast shadow.  

I hope this challenge allows you to work through the problem of creating a sense of light and shadow.  Adjusting values can be necessary…making sure that the areas receiving less light are darker than those getting more light, and accounting for “bounced light” can be tricky.  Practice is always a good thing, so have fun and send me photos of your finished work so we can share.  

I’m already looking ahead to later this week.  I will be breaking out my Tombow marker in burnt sienna color -947 for a sketch or two during the final couple of weeks of this challenge.  If you would like to get one, it’s around $5-6. Here is a link:  Tombow 947 Marker- Amazon

Here are a few of the dedicated 30 Day Drawing Challengers who are steadfastly chipping away at this challenge.  I’m so proud and happy that you are doing this with me!  I know you’ll be so glad you did it…maybe you already are 😉

Day 16- Draw Your Drink
Don’t you love the drippy letters?!

Day 17- Vignette background

Day 17- Vignette
Nice use of water and spatters to create an obscure background vignette!
Watercolor in combination with the Elegant writer.

Rebecca Zdybel
Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor
Art Lessons: Drawing, Watercolor, Acrylic, Collage, Mixed Media
Myrtle Beach, SC
rebecca@rebeccazartist.com

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Rebecca Zdybel is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Follow her and see her work at http://rebeccazartist.com/

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Rebecca Zdybel

Author Rebecca Zdybel

Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor - Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art! Rebecca Z Artist (Rebecca Zdybel) is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC. She blogs and teaches locally and internationally. Sign up for her blog, classes, workshops, art travel tours, or see her work at RebeccaZArtist.com.

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