Shading is the life and breath of your anime drawing๐ŸŒด๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒด.Whether youโ€™re using HB pencilsย โœ๏ธย or color pens๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆย for filling, shading done right can transform a drawing into an appreciable art๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†.

There is a plethora of shading techniques waiting to be discovered if you dive deep into the world of drawing. So where should you get started from๐Ÿ˜•?


1. Clean your hands ๐Ÿ‘ to rid it of any dirt or grease before you start.

2. Use a clear, white paper to avoid smudging as you navigate your way around the drawing while working on it๐Ÿ“„.

~ย How to Shade Drawings, 3 Different Ways

By:ย markcrilley on YouTubeย 

Pencil Shading โœ๏ธ

markcrilley has put together just the right shading guide for progressive levels in his Youtube video, โ€œHow to Shade Drawings, 3 Different Waysโ€.

From left to right, he explains three shading techniques in increasing levels of simplicity and detailing. At level one 1๏ธโƒฃ, you simply need to fill your spaces with strokes of parallel lines. If you are right-handed, this goes from the bottom left to the top rightโ†—๏ธโ†—๏ธ and for left-handed artists, it goes from the bottom right to the top leftโ†–๏ธโ†–๏ธ. Thatโ€™s it๐Ÿ˜„! You donโ€™t even need to worry about the spillage beyond the borders๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„! Once youโ€™ve shaded a particular portion, you can use your eraser to lighten certain parts in order to create the light effect. Notice how Rilley does it with the characterโ€™s hair๐Ÿ‘ฑ.

The second technique closely follows the first. Except, you need to draw lines following the direction and the form of the shape youโ€™re filling. So now, instead of parallel lines, youโ€™ll fill the characterโ€™s hair in the direction of the portion of the hair โ†˜๏ธโ†—๏ธโ†˜๏ธโ†—๏ธ you are working on.

Fill sections with circular motions

The third technique, in stark contrast to the first and the second, involves filling sections with circular motions ๐Ÿ”‚๐Ÿ”‚ instead of lines. By holding the pencil away from the tip at a lower angle to the paper, progress slowly even as you fill each and every section with circular motions to create even tones by hiding the strokes to create an overall shading effect. You will need to be a tad more patient with this technique compared to the first two but the end result in this case is also fuller and satisfying. Then again, the choice of technique largely depends on you ๐Ÿ˜‡.

Many artists use the first technique to portray nostalgic scenes back in time and hence contrast it from the scenes in the present. To add a more 3D depth to your drawing, you could resort to the second or the third technique depending on your ease.


By:ย mikeymegamega on YouTube

Itโ€™s all about the level of depth you want to achieve in your drawing. Did you know that you can create a clear, crisp, and detailed pencil art even with a simple mechanical pencil by manipulating the hold and the pressure on the pencil and by adjusting the color tones across various sections of the drawing ๐Ÿ˜ฎ? mikeymegamega shows you how to do this. Firstly, squeeze out the area of white light by creating patches of light โ‡๏ธโ‡๏ธ at proper places in the drawing.

Next, fill the characterโ€™s skin with very light strokes from the lightest point to create an even skin tone ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿพ. Usually, this is followed by blending to create bodily depths but here, we create separate spaces and then fill it with darker tones such as the characters neck and the area around it and its armpits. As opposed to blending to create depth, this technique yields a much cleaner looking and crisper image. Bring the drawing together by creating an extra dark border along the characterโ€™s outlines. If you want to go even more detailed, you can create extra-dark black layersโšซโšซ in certain areas.

Remember to draw from the tip of the pencil and keep rotating it as you proceed โœ’๏ธ.

Color Shadingย ๐ŸŒˆ

Shading with colors follows the same rules of light and depths. You just need to focus on smooth transitioning from one color to another color in a particular section of your drawing๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ. Start from the darkest shade of color and transition gradually to the lightest shade. You can ease this approach by arranging the color gradient you are aiming at in increasing order of color shades. While transitioning, make sure you use all these colors in their decreasing order of pigmentation. Your blend point should have a rich mixture of both the colors before you completely transit to the next color in the sequence๐ŸŽจ. For the lighter shades, a white pencil is a great tool to smoothen things at the lighter blend points โœ๏ธโ—ป๏ธ.

You can consider this tutorial as something you can hold on to as a beginner or as someone who is at a loss when it comes to shading๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€. Then again, like weโ€™ve already said, once you dive deeper into the world of shading, youโ€™ll discover tons of techniques to make your drawings more detailed and life-like ๐Ÿ˜.

Do you know or happen to have discovered such amazing shading techniques? Do let us know ๐Ÿ˜‰!

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