How to Draw a Shaded Sphere

The secret to making a two-dimensional circle look like a three-dimensional sphere is the shading. A light will create a bright spot, with a gradient to darker shadows on the opposite side. Read on to learn how you can master this technique for yourself.

Steps

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    Draw a hollow circle with a light line. You can use a compass or trace a round object or circular template to get a clean circle.
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    Choose a light source for this sphere. The light source in this example is on the upper right, somewhat in front of the page (or behind the viewer).
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    Begin shading. Start opposite the light source and move inwards. The darkest area will be furthest from the light source. Create circles or partial circles of equal value (darkness).
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    As you move towards the light source, fill the circle with less and less pressure, heavier on the dark area, lighter on the light area. You can leave a round spot nearest the light source the color of the white page.
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    Use your finger or a tortillon to blend the shading and add a shadow. Notice how the circle now appears spherical, with depth.

Tips

  • You can use an eraser if you made the light part too dark.
  • Do not put too much pressure on the spheres or else it won't look realistic!
  • Making these gradients takes some practice.
  • Add/think of a sun or light source on your page.
  • The easiest way to shade the circle is to start from the darkest then do the lightest part. After that, connect the two by shading with the values in between.
  • You do not need to start at the bottom of the circle/rectangle. You can also start at the bottom or side.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Tortillon (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Drawing Shapes and Forms