30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 23- Linking Shapes with Shadows

30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 23- Linking Shapes with Shadows

Linkage is a design fundamental that describes the process of bringing unity to a piece of art by building connections.  Connections bring harmony and balance and all kinds of good design qualities to your work.  These connections can be made in many ways, but actual physical linking of shapes isn’t always possible or may not make sense in your composition.  This is where shadows can play a very convenient role!

Designing better shapes is something we should all be thinking about.  Linking shapes is a really great way to achieve this.  For example, it’s often a good idea when possible to take a series of repetitive small shapes and bring them together with connecting shapes.  This can create larger and more interesting shapes, or bring variation to what would otherwise be simple repetition. Again, this is a role that shadows were born to play!

Shadows can be anything from short and stubby to long and lean.  They can go in any direction.   They can GROW if needed to fill gaps.  They can also have color!

(We explored Color and Shadows in Day 21 of our 30 Day drawing challenge- Here’s the link in case you missed it: 30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 21: Shadows/Color )

For all these reasons shadows are the perfect means for designing better shapes and creating linkage within your work.

An example of how you can GROW shadows to connect otherwise disconnected shapes ¬©Rebecca Zdybel 

Today’s Challenge: 

Step 1: Draw 3-5 disconnected shapes using a contour drawing and ink.  I love clothespins as a subject, but you can pick anything (toothbrushes, brushes, pencils, crayons…etc.)

Hint: Leave gaps here and there in the contours of your objects to allow for color to visually flow in and out of the shapes and allow for a sense of bounced color from shadow to object. 

Step 2: Use shadows to connect your shapes and form a unified drawing.  Watercolor, watercolor pencils, or watercolor crayons would be a great to use in order to create colored shadows, but colored pencils or markers could also work well. 

Note that my shadows are not realistic, but they serve to connect my shapes together and create linkage.  They also provide a cool complementary color to the warm oranges of the clothespins.  
Step 3: Send a photo of your final result to me:   rebecca@rebeccazartist.com
Have fun with this drawing and file the idea away for future compositions when you sketch!  As we learn to draw, these little tricks of the trade can make our work so much better, and they are not that hard.  You just need to spend a little time digesting them. =)

Here are some drawings from the sketchbooks of more fellow Drawing Challengers:  
These all illustrate a very great danger in going down the Zentangle path…IT’S ADDICTIVE and very meditative…and BEAUTIFUL when done like these drawings demonstrate. Wow!  If you missed that lesson, it’s available following this link. If you go there beware of the risk of instant addiction! 30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 20- Zentangle

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

Rebecca Zdybel
Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor
Art Lessons: Drawing, Watercolor, Acrylic, Collage, Mixed Media
Myrtle Beach, SC

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

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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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