Learning to Sketch – How to Draw Shadows


I’ve always enjoyed doodling, but last year I started really getting into sketching a lot more. Now it’s something I regularly enjoy! Starting with this post, I’m going to share with those of you who would like to draw more often some excellent tips I’ve learned about creating awesome images. Today we’ll discuss how to draw shadows accurately according to the light source in your sketches.

how to draw shadows

The first thing you want to do is plan your light source. The shadows in your image depend completely on where the light is coming from. For simplicity’s sake, I placed my light source in the center of the “room” of my image. Light is branching out in a triangle and spreading toward the boxes I have placed throughout. Keep in mind that the direction in which the light hits your objects is the same direction in which the shadows will be cast.

how to draw shadows

Here I have added my shadows, and how much light hits the boxes I’ve drawn. The closer the object is to the light source, the more lit up the object will be itself on the parts that are facing the light. The shadows cast from close objects will also be longer, skinnier, and slightly sharper when it comes to direction.

Another thing to keep in mind? The further away from the light source the object is, the less light that will hit it. Always keep parts of your objects that are facing away from the light source shaded.

And voila! It’s really that simple. Just keep in mind how the light in your drawing hits the objects in your sketch, and remember that the closer to the light source your object is the larger the shadow will be that is cast from it.

For tips on how to make quality artwork, click here.

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Updated: October 26, 2017 — 8:37 am
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