Aah! My new best friend – the pen. Sorry about the wonky dissolves – George Lucas would fire me on the spot! 😛
Some easy tips I’d like to give people on shading:
1. If you have very strong shadows on your object, especially anything spherical/cylindrical, don’t shade right to the edge. You can see on my drawn fingers that the shaded areas are a millimetre or so away from the outer edge. It is one part illustrator’s technique and one part truth.
If you have a really strong source of light you can see that a whisper of light appears next to the darkest area of your subject matter. That’s what gives an object definition and shape. Most purists would agree with this and completely omit “definite” drawn lines altogether from their work – “there are no lines in the real world, just shadows”.
Well, poo poo to that.
2. If you notice all my shading is coralled within a shape and then filled in with cross hatches. It’s something my life drawing teacher taught me ages ago. It’s a quick and easy way to deal with shading.
You lightly draw in the shape the shadow has created on your subject matter and then just fill it in. The trick is making sure all your cross-hatching is evenly spaced and tonally consistent, ie dont draw thick, thin, thick, medium, thin.
If you have three or four levels of shade in your drawing, apply the same approach but just make sure your cross hatching lines go in a different angle OR are either more compact or widely spaced. I will try and do a series on cross hatching to explain this a little better.