Return to site

Homespun AND Worldly Art Journal

How to draw shapes, and a simple still life

I get it--this has to be the most boring subject matter on Earth to blog about, or to draw! And forget about visiting this blog post--only the nerdiest artists would EVER even read this far! So, if you are still here, congratulations, because this post will help you familiarize yourself with line drawing and adding shadows ala chiaroscuro (Italian for "light and shadow". This will get you through STEP ONE of a process of three-dimensional rendering.


• Charcoal pencils or vine sticks

• Eraser (preferably kneaded/gummy eraser)

• Charcoal- paper-or multimedia paper or

STEP 1: Photograph your piece

make sure the light is set up and aimed on still life at a 45 degree angle, so that shadows fall across the setup. Choose the composition (layout) you like the best.

STEP 2: Line Drawing

Check proportions by determining sizes of each object and draw outline or contour shape. Make sure each side is symmetrical, and that on cylinder and cube, vertical lines are straight up and down (look below, my cylinder is not straight up and down, and for that reason, I received a B- on this assignment, lol!).

STEP 3: Shadows

This, in my opinion, is like the icing on the cake for drawing and painting. There are several shadows to keep in mind:

1) Cast Shadow: the dark shadow that the object casts when light source hits it. The more of an angle of light, the larger the shadow. For the outdoors, late morning and late afternoon/evening sun casts the greatest shadows, as its angle is most dramatic.

2) Form Shadow: the medium-value shadow that appears as the object warr

Value Chart and methods to apply Charcoal

STEP 4: Finish up, adding background and highlights

Adding the backgroudssss

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!