Shading Project

Tomorrow will be the very first day of 2017! I can’t wait to start a new year. 2016 was a tough. Plus, there are tons of new things happening in 2017. Movies and books are coming out and summer is coming again (though not very soon). Anyway, I finally finished my shading project. This was an assignment for my 2D drawing and painting class. This piece was a still life of some gourds, vegetables and various other foods (you may notice it’s a bit thanksgiving-themed). I used a #2HB pencil (regular no. 2 pencil), a #9HB pencil (softer lead, if you’re wondering what the difference is), a kneaded eraser and a tortillion, or blending stump. This project was all about different values of a piece, so there is no color. Value is how light or dark an object is. Different objects and different parts of objects are different values. I hope you enjoy this piece and learn something too.


Day 1


So first, here’s a reference picture for what I’m actually drawing. These objects aren’t real fruits and vegetables, and they are actually made out of plastic. img_2563

On the first day I started drawing the display at a bit of a different angle  than in the picture. You can see that I started blocking out the objects and drew some details on a gourd on the far left side of the picture.

Day 2


On the second day, I got a lot more work done and added more detail to the objects. The rows of corn kernels were at an angle, so I drew in some guidelines on the corn to be as accurate as possible. I also added a format around the picture

Day 3


I was almost done with my rough draft. I finished the corn and drew the corn husk, which was particularly challenging.

Day 4


I spent the fourth day transferring my rough draft onto nice paper, which I would use for my final draft. I taped the rough draft drawing-side-up onto the back of a piece of card stock paper. I put the paper on a light box, which shone light through the paper so I could see my rough draft. I then lightly traced the drawing onto the card stock paper. The result is shown here.



Now it’s time to get to the point of this project: the shading! This picture was taken when the lights were turned of and the display was illuminated by a single light source. This reference picture would help me shade in values more clearly once I printed it out as a black and white photograph.

Day 5


So before I could shade the final draft, I had to practice. I was given a small piece of card stock paper that I had to transfer a small section of my drawing onto. I chose part of the piece that included the corn husk, corn kernels, cloth and pumpkin so that I would have practice in different areas of the piece. The shading turned out okay, but I think it could have been better. Also, this isn’t the greatest photo.

Day 6


Finally I could begin. I started shading the smaller pumpkin, the pear and the sunflower. This is where the tortillion, kneading eraser and #9HB pencil come in. The #9HB pencil is darker than a normal pencil, so it is used for dark and almost black areas. I used this pencil on the inside of the sunflower. The kneading eraser is exactly what it sounds like: an eraser. Except for that this eraser is like clay or putty: you can shape it however you want. You can also dab at an area of graphite and some of the graphite will be removed, since graphite sticks to the eraser. The tortillion or blending stump is a stick of paper rolled up very tightly with a point at the end like a pencil. To use it, you rub the tortillion in an areas you want to blend. This helps make value changes more gradual, and gets rid of pencil strokes.

Days 7, 8 & 9

img_2799img_2800img_2821Throughout the next 3 days, I continued shading the piece.

Day 10


On the last day, I added the back shading to show more definition to the highlighted sides of the objects. I also deepened some of the values to show more contrast. Now, It’s finally done!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this project and are having a great holiday break. Happy New Year!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: