Shading explained: tones and shades of portrait art drawing and sketching.
Shading Explained

| << Page 1 | << Back | Next >> | Page 5 >> |


The "medium" tones can be the trickiest. You might feel too timid to put them in as dark as they should be. A lot of "newbie" artists have used a "medium" tone for areas that really should be black! (Pupil of eye, etc.) Putting in the proper tones in the proper areas can be a little daunting at first. But don't be timid, you can do it!

Medium tones are usually used to make the transition from dark areas to lighter areas more gradual, and smooth. Without medium tones, the portrait would look harsh, and the darker shading would be too severe. Using medium tones properly will give the drawing more blended, natural look.

Shading explained - pencil drawing

In this portrait, you'll see that almost all of the shadowed side of the face (right side) has at least a medium tone on it. Even the whites of the eye on the shadowed area are toned down to be a medium tone. They may fool the eye and appear lighter, because they are surrounded by darker tones. But if you look closely, you'll see that there is a medium tone shadowing pretty much all of the right side of the face.

Also, the medium tone is used to give shape and modeling to the lighter (left side) of the face. In this portrait, the cheekbones, jawline, areas around the nose, etc. were rendered using a medium tone.

Next >>

| << Page 1 | << Back | Next >> | Page 5 >> |

divider graphic

| Basics Home | Drawing for Newbies | Choosing Art Materials | Drawing techniques | Basic Portrait Tips | Step-by-Step Portrait | Realistic Pencil Portrait | Shading and Rendering |

divider graphic

| Home | Color | Portrait in Detail | Attitudes and Inspiration | Anatomy, Digital Art, & Misc. | Study & Lessons | About | Contact | Portfolio |

| Search | Disclaimer | What's New | Site Map | Blog | The book! |


Copyright © JR Dunster 2002 - 2017 All Rights Reserved

No permission is given to use the information, (graphics, text) on this site in any other way other than for individual use. You may not use, publish or copy the information to a floppy disk or any other type of storage system or device without permission from me, JR Dunster. You may only print out one copy of each page (for personal use only).

Back to Top

In Association with