Tìm hiểu Shading Techniques – How to Shade with a Pencil | Sen Tây Hồ

Shading Techniques for Drawing

Techniques used for applying shading to an object are quite varied. Each technique produces a different texture and “feel” to the drawing. The drawing medium used may determine the shading technique that is applied in the drawing.

The most common application techniques include:

Hatching – Lines drawn in the same direction. By drawing lines closer together, darker values are created. Leaving more space between lines results in lighter values. For rounded objects, the lines may curve slightly around the form – following the contours of the object.

Shading with hatching

Cross-Hatching – Lines cross over each other. The density at which the lines cross over each other determines the value that is produced.

Shading with cross hatching

Blending – Smooth gradations of value are produced either by adjusting the amount of pressure applied to the medium or by using a blending tool, such a blending stump.


Rendering – Using an eraser to remove the medium to produce lighter values. This technique is typically used in conjunction with blending.


Random lines – Loose applications of crossing lines. The frequency in which the lines cross over each determines the value produced.

Random lines

Stippling – Applying countless small dots to build up darker values in a drawing. The density of the dots determines the value produced.


SEE ALSO : How to create smooth shading with graphite

The Illusion of Light

It’s easy to get caught up in the technique in which the material is applied and loose sight of the reason why we apply shading in the first place.

Light is how we see, after all, and shading informs us of the light within a scene. We understand the light within the scene through the use of value and contrast.

Value and contrast

Value is the darkness or lightness of a color. Light values are called tints and dark values are called shades.

Contrast deals with difference. Contrast is produced when any difference between elements such as texture, color, size, or value occurs. It can be subtle or extreme. When it comes to shading, we are mostly concerned with the contrast that is produced from changes in value.

When light hits the subject, it produces a range of contrasting values. The intensity of the light determines the contrast of values. Generally, the stronger the light – the higher the contrast.

Direction of the light source

Values are arranged on the subject according to the location and intensity of the light source (or sources). To simplify the manner in which light behaves on a subject and surrounding objects, we’ll look at what happens with just one light source on a smooth surface.

Names of locations of shadows

The locations of each area of value on the subject tell the viewer about the location of light and how the light behaves on the subject. The behavior of light (or how it is reflected) on the subject informs us about the texture and form of the subject.