Shading Techniques with Shape & Form

Welcome to lesson 2 of Shading Techniques with Shape & Form. We will discuss & study in detail Shading Techniques with Shapes & Form. We will also study Shapes & Forms on this topic. So, before starting lesson 2, let’s have some recap of what we learned in lesson 1:

Recap from Lesson 1

Our lesson 1 covered in 2 parts:

  • How to Start Drawing
  • How to build up your confidence- Lines Exercise

(Read Full Lesson if you missed it- How to start Drawing)

Lesson 2

‘Shading Techniques with Shape & Form’ lesson will cover:

  • Shape & Form Study (Part-1)
  • Shading Technique (Part-2)

Part 1- Shape & Form Study

What is Shape?

Shape is a flat enclosed area of an artwork which is created by lines, texture, colors or an area. It is also enclosed with other shapes like triangle, circle & squares.

In simple language, shape is a 2d (Two-dimensional) flat area made of lines, texture or color. Some time, we use other shapes like square, triangles or circle to create it.


What is Form?

The form is a three Dimensional composition or objects with having depth or 3D effect. In simple language, a shape with all shading details having a 3D effect is a form.


Five Basic Shape & Form

To learn drawing or to draw objects around us, you must know these basic shapes & Forms:

Cube, Cuboid, Cone, cylinder, Sphere

What to do with these shapes & Forms

You should have the practice to create:

  • All Essential basic shapes
  • All basic Forms (Transparent & Solid)

Part 2- Shading Technique


Shading is nothing but the dark effects of shadow occurred due to the light effect on any objects. Generally, we create different shades of tone to show the shadow of any object. It is depends on light sources.

How to shade in drawing

Technically we use tones to show shading in drawing. However, we should use three tones to show perfect shading in our image or objects:

  • Light Tone
  • Half or Middle Tone
  • Dark Tone

(Tone- The lightness or a darkness of a hue is called its tone)

Light Tone

The lighter part of any object, where the light comes directly is the light tone of that objects.

Half Tone

Half Tone is the darker than the light tone but it is lighter than dark tone. It always remains between light and dark tone.

Dark Tone

The dark tone is the real drawing or mark of the shadow that occurred due to light effects. It is the darkest tone in comparison to light & halftone. It is also always used opposite to the light tone.

For a perfect shading, we can use all the above three tone in the drawing. How to create these tones, here are some shading techniques:

Shading Techniques:

  • Scribbling
  • Stippling
  • Smudging
  • Hatching



Smudging is a style of shading. In smudging, we put, rub, dab or swipe graphite in smeary manner to create different ones.

In a simple language, we use something to blend the graphite to create different tones in Smudging. We can use:

  • Figure or thumb tip
  • Tissue paper,
  • Cotton,
  • Paper or
  • blending stump

Precaution- Learner or beginners have to be cautious while smudging. If you are using the finger‘s tip, you have to be careful. It can herm your finger. Smudging drawings can spoil or spread dirt easily.  So to fix the shading, a fixture spray may be used.

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