Shading & Values: Use the Power of Light & Shadow to Create Realistic Art | Kendyll Hillegas | Skillshare

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Shading & Values: Use the Power of Light & Shadow to Create Realistic Art

teacher avatar Kendyll Hillegas, Artist & Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What is Value?


    • 3.

      Supplies & Method


    • 4.

      Types of Lights & Darks


    • 5.

      Look, Lay down, Compare, Adjust


    • 6.

      Demo: Midtones Part 1


    • 7.

      Demo: Midtones Part 2


    • 8.

      Demo: Midtones Part 3


    • 9.

      Demo: Shadows Part 1


    • 10.

      Demo: Shadows Part 2


    • 11.

      Demo: Adjusting Values


    • 12.

      Demo: Highlights


    • 13.

      Class Project & Wrap Up


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About This Class

Knowing how to use shading to create a sense of light & dark in your work is absolutely crucial in making a drawing look realistic. You may have the most accurate and proportional line sketch in the world, but if it isn’t shaded well, it still won’t have a sense of form or dimension. 

That’s why, after proportions & basic observational skills, a solid understanding of value is the most important element in creating realistic work.

In this class, we’ll learn:

  • 5 Different techniques for shading
  • 4 Different types of shadows and highlights and how they communicate form
  • To use comparison to see dark and light values accurately, and to translate them to a drawing, creating a sense of weight and realism in our subject

We’ll have a series of sit down lessons where I’ll unpack each of these concepts, and then a detailed, real-time demo where I’ll create a demo drawing from start to finish, explaining the process of shading and the concepts behind realistic values it as I go along.

After completing this course, you’ll have a good understanding of darks/lights and how they work in art, and will be able to apply the concepts to your own work to create realistic form, weight and dimension.

This class is best suited for beginning artists who have some familiarity with drawing and proportions, but want to take their skills up a notch and learn how to use value to create realistic form.

We’ll be focusing entirely on values and shading in this class, and won’t go into perspective or proportions at all, so you’ll need a basic line drawing to get started. If you don’t feel comfortable with proportions yet, I’d recommend you take part 1 of this series first:

After you complete this course, if you're interested in learning to create realistic color, take part 3 of my Drawing Fundamentals Series:


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kendyll Hillegas

Artist & Illustrator


My name is Kendyll, and I’m an artist and commercial illustrator working in traditional media. My background is in classical oil painting, but I’ve been working as an illustrator for the past 5 years, completing assignments for Real Simple, Vanity Fair France and The Wall Street Journal. 

My illustration is used commercially in packaging, on paper goods and clothing, and in editorial applications, as well as displayed in private and corporate collections worldwide. My work has been featured in Supersonic Art, Anthology Magazine, Creative Boom, DPI Art Quarter and BuzzFeed.

I try to create work that is realistic, but still full of vibrancy and feeling. I'm probably best known for my food and botanical illustration, but I lov... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: Hello. My name is Kendyll Hillegas. I am a professional artist and commercial illustrator. I work full-time in this industry, creating work for packaging, apparel, video games, and editorial clients like The Wall Street Journal and [inaudible]. I also really enjoy sharing my industry experience online at places like YouTube, and Instagram, and of course through classes here on Skill share. Since my work tends towards realism, I get a lot of questions from beginning or aspiring artists or even established artists who are looking to mix up their style a little bit, wondering how they can make their own work look more realistic. In response to these questions, I've created a series of foundational level art courses covering everything from proportions, to value, to color. This is part 2 in that series and in this series we are going to talk about values. That is lights, and darks, and shading, and how those things create a sense of form and dimension and realism in artwork. Value or shading is absolutely crucial to making a piece of two-dimensional artwork look realistic. In fact, you may have the most accurate and perfectly executed line sketch that really has spot on realistic proportions, but if the shading isn't done well or if there isn't any shading at all, that subject will still look flat and won't feel real. That's why in my opinion, after proportions and perspective, having a good sense of value and darks, and lights, and how those work together to create a sense of form and dimensionality in your artwork is really the most crucial step, the most crucial skill to be able to create realistic drawings and paintings. In this class we're going to talk about different techniques for shading, we're going to talk about how values actually work in the real world and will learn to recognize different types of shadows and how those shadows describe a sense of form. Then we're going to learn to use comparison to see darks and lights in our subjects, whether that's a reference image or in real life. Then we're going to learn to translate those values, translate those darks, lights, and shadows onto our piece of artwork to give it that sense of form, weight, and realism. We'll have a series of sit-down lessons where I'll unpack each of these points at a conceptual level. Then we'll have a detailed demo and talk through or you'll get to see me shade a drawing from start to finish, starting out relatively flat and then building up dimension through darks, and lights, and values as I go and of course, explaining every phase of the process as I'm working through it. Since we'll be focusing entirely on values and shading in this class, we aren't going to have time to go into some of those more basic elements of drawing proportions and basic observation skills. If you don't feel comfortable with those yet, I would suggest actually going back and taking part 1 of this series first. That course covers those concepts of proportion and basic observation. It'll be linked in the class description. You can also find it on my Skill Share page, but if you do feel comfortable with proportion and you're just looking to really understand darks and lights and how to see darks and lights, so this class is absolutely for you. You will need a basic line sketch to get started. This is the one that I'm going be working from. I created it specifically for this class. That's what you'll get to see me working on in the demo. If you are a beginning or aspiring artist or maybe someone who has had a bit of experience but hasn't really worked much in realism, I hope you will join me in this class as we really build on that foundation that we laid in part 1 of this series. With proportions and learn how to take our work up a notch how to increase the sense of realism through darks and lights, through a good understanding of values, and shading, and form. I can't wait to get started with you and to see you in the class. 2. What is Value?: Welcome back. We're going to have a quick little discussion about value, about what it is, how it works, and how you can learn to see it in your subject. So first step, what is value? Very basically, value is the darkness or lightness of a color. Darker colors are closer to black on the gray-scale and lighter colors are closer to white on the gray-scale. As you heard me say in the intro, after a solid understanding of proportions and perceptive, in my opinion, value is really the most crucial element to being able to create a sense of realism in your work,so it should be really well understood and thoroughly practiced before moving onto something like color. Okay. So how does value work? What does value do? At a very basic level value, darks and lights describe the form of the subject. So they indicate where the shadows are, where the middle places are, and where the high points are in your subject. They are what makes something look three-dimensional and give it a sense of weight. So we can see that something like an orange is a sphere rather than a circle because we can see where the high points are, where they're really catching the light. We can see where the middle points are. Then we can see those darker areas curving underneath that give it that sense of roundness and fullness and shadow. Darker values, values that are closer to black on the gray-scale tend to really sink back and roll underneath a subject. Whereas lighter values tend to kind of rise forward and pop out from this object. It's really important to keep in mind that value is relative. So just looking at a given value on its own doesn't necessarily give you the full picture. You need to have it in comparison to other values around it. So a value is really only dark light in relationship to another value. A good example of this principle is this value slider here. We can see it going all the way from light to dark. Then if you look on that bottom row, you'll see a little swatch in the middle of each of these values. And that swatch, believe it or not, is exactly the same value all the way across. But when you're looking at it on top of the really light squares, on top of the white squares or those really, really pale values, it feels really dark.Whereas when you're looking at it on top of the super dark, the values that are closer to black on this scale, it has more of a light sense and feels like a highlight. So this really illustrates how value is relative and can change depending on what is around it, what other values are around it. So how to see value in your subject? This is important to talk about because many of us when we're looking at a subject whether it's a real life subject or a reference image, that subject will be in color. So learning to see value doesn't just mean looking at black and white photograph and saying this part is darker than this part. It's learning to actually see the value in a subject that still has color in it. So in order to do that well, it's helpful to force yourself to focus on seeing the value separate from the color. Even though they're really related and they're connected. A more foundational basic step is to learn to first see where the darks and lights are. So if you're looking at a subject whether it's a photo or real life that's in color the first thing you can do is squint your eyes and you want to squint them to where they're almost completely close. Where you're just letting in the tiny littlest, littlest amount of light that you can without seeing any of the details in your subject. You still will be able to see the color, but you're not going to be so distracted by the details and the color won't be so distracting, won't be so prominent. Really squinting your eyes just looking out the tiniest little opening that's going to let you focus on where the darks and lights are. So as they're doing that, try to look at your subject and identify where the darkest darks are and the lightest lights are and immensely compare each of those to the gray-scale. So think through how if you're looking at a dark color;how close is this to black? Is it as dark as black or lighter than black, and then vice versa with the highlights. How close is this to white? Is it pure white or is it a little bit darker than pure white? Try to get a good sense for where those fall on the gray-scale. Once you've got the two kind of polls identify the really dark darks and the really light lights, it'll be easier to get a sense for where the middle values are. So as we can see again on the gray-scale, we have pure white at one end and pure black at the other end. But there's a whole section of middle values. It can sometimes be trickier for people to identify.So that's why I recommend trying to observe the darkest darks and lightest lights first because that'll make it easier to see those middle tones. This process of looking and comparing is going to be absolutely key to creating a sense of realism in your work, since it's what's going to allow us to use value to build up that sense of form in dimension. 3. Supplies & Method: There are an infinite number of ways that you can create shading and dimension in your work using an equally infinite number of art supplies, working on lots of different kinds of surfaces. You can use pencil, you can use watercolor, and you can use ink, markers, really any art supply you can think of can be used to create value studies and value sketches. Just as there are lots of different media combinations, there are several different ways to approach value in the building up of lights and darks in your work. For example, you can work dark to light, or you can work light to dark, or you can work mid to dark to light or mid to light to dark. Some of these approaches work better with certain combinations of media. They just are a more natural fit. But really, the one that you use is mostly a matter of preference and your end goals for the piece. In this class, we're going to keep it super simple and just work with graphite on paper. We're just going to be using pencils and erasers, really basic art supplies that most people should have around at home. Since we're using those, we're going to go ahead and work in my favorite method for building up value, which is mid to dark to light. 4. Types of Lights & Darks: It's important to understand that there are different types of shadows and highlights. They communicate different things about the form and the shape of your subject and the light source that you're working from. Most foundationally, there are four. Two different types of shadows and two different types of highlights. There is a cast shadow and a form shadow, and reflected light and a highlight. A cast shadow is a type of shadow that is created when the light source hits your subject and leaves a shadow underneath it or behind it. A form shadow is a shadow that falls across the darker plane or the darker side of your subject, often depending on how strong the light sources and the color of your subjects, that shadow will be more of a mid-tone, and it communicates the curve in the form of the subject. Reflected light isn't necessarily going to be present in every single subject, but it often is, and it's a softer light area. It's usually not as bright as the highlight. It often will indicate that the light source is bouncing off of the ground that your subject is sitting on. It's usually on the opposite side of wherever your highlight is that wherever the strongest point of light, the brightest point of your subject, usually the reflected light is on the opposite side or often the reflected light is on the opposite side. Last of all, there are highlight, and highlights are the part of your subject that is most directly linked by your light source. So they're the lightest, they're the closest to white on the value scale. Sometimes they even are pure white depending on the color of your subject or the texture of your subject. If you've got a really shiny subject, those often will have pure bright white highlights. Those are our four types of shadows and highlights. Cast shadows, form shadows, reflected light, and highlights. These four shadows and highlights can have really different characteristics depending on everything from the intensity of your light source. So how bright your light source is, how close it is to your subject, the type of surface that the subject is sitting on, the texture of the subjects, the shape of the subject, all of these things impact the characteristics of those highlights and shadows. For example, something like a form shadow when it's describing a sphere is going to have usually a pretty soft edge. Whereas when it's describing something that has harder edges like a cube, it also may have harder edges. Now that being said, the softness or hardness of the edge can indicate how close or far the light source is. If the light sources a lot closer or a lot stronger, something like natural sunlight outside is a very, very strong light source. So often cast shadows that are in direct sunlight will have a really hard edge. Whereas if it's softer light like maybe it's filtering through something, either window shades or leaves on a tree, the softer light will produce a softer edge on the shadow. Also if your subject is further away from your light source, that shadow will tend to have a more gradual gradient field to it, but they're really soft edge. The same thing can be true with highlights as well. If you're under a direct light or really strong light, or if the subject is shiny, you'll be more likely to have highlights and have a true bright hard edge. Whereas if it's a more diffused light, the highlights are probably going to be softer. Just having an awareness of the fact that how hard or how soft you make the edges of both your highlights and your shadows is going to communicate something about your subject, it's going to communicate something about the shape of your subject. That's something that you need to pay attention to when you're executing your shading. In terms of how you actually do the shading itself, how your marks look on the paper, this is as varied and diverse as handwriting, so nobody can really tell you what your handwriting is. It's something that emerges over time. You may find that you really gravitate towards one form of shading, one way of laying down your marks, or you may find you can do a few different forms of it and have felt comfortable in multiple different approaches. But if you're brand new to this, if you're just starting to work on shading, I recommend trying out several different ones and see which one fits well. You also might choose to do different approaches for different pieces of artwork if you want to create different effects. The kind of broad five families, five different approaches for shading or hatching, which is unidirectional marks. One right after another, looks like a bunch of little lines then cross-hatching, which is marks that go in one direction, and then laid down on top of that marks that go in another direction, and there's squiggly or curly shading. So kind of marks that have a real organic sense, it feel really dynamic, and they're not necessarily predictable the same way that hatching and cross-hatching tend to follow a very predictable pattern or as squiggly or curly shading might feel a little bit all over the place and feels more random. Then we have soft or blended shading, so that's where you might try to make your marks really, really tiny, and then use something like your finger or a paper stomped to blend those out and soften the edges. Lastly there's stippling, which is essentially just little tiny dots, lots of little dots over the surface of your subject. Usually stippling is used more with ink then with pencils. We're not really going to approach that technique so much in today's class, but I wanted to mention it nonetheless. There really is no best approach or best way to shade. You can use some combination of multiple different approaches or just one single approach really is just up to you. So I encourage you to use this class as a time to experiment. In fact, at this point, if you wanted to do something really simple, like maybe take on a series of spheres or some very basic shapes and use each of these different approaches for shading to test those out and see what you feel comfortable with before you move on to shading your line drawing. This would be a great opportunity to do that and you could, of course, post it in the class projects. 5. Look, Lay down, Compare, Adjust: Welcome back. This is the final, conceptual, foundation lesson before we move on to the demo piece. It's a really important one because I want to talk about the approach, the overall approach I'm going to be using throughout the creation of this demo. It's also the approach that I use in everyday life, in my professional life, as I'm creating work for commercial clients and for private art buyers. This is the way I make realistic work. You also may have heard me talk about it in another class, sometimes I referred to it as that LLDCA cycle, which stands for look, lay down, compare, adjust. This cycle, look,lay down, compare, adjust, is just an approach for looking at your subjects, studying what you see and translating the information that you see there onto your artwork to make it look realistic. So when we're using the, LLDCA for values, for working in darks and lights.The first thing you're going to do, is you're going to look at your subject by squinting, like we talked about in an earlier lesson, try to obscure all of the unnecessary information, the details, the color, squint in your eyes and just look to see the value of your subject, the darks and the lights, and try to assess them mentally like we talked about, comparing darker values to black to see how dark they truly are and lighter values to white to really understand how bright they truly are. Then once you have your best guess as to where a value lies on that value scale, go ahead and lay it down on your paper. Then we'll compare what we've laid down back to the reference and maybe to our mental image of the value scale, or even to a value scale that you have in front of you, if that's helpful and ask, is this area darker or lighter than the area that I just was looking at in my subject. Then if it needs to be tweaked, go ahead and adjust it as necessary and then repeat the cycle all over again, either with that same area of value or another area of value. As we talked about, since the value is relative and really only make sense in comparison to other values. The more values you get down on your piece, the more you develop it, the easier it's going to be to execute that process of comparison and to compare the values that are in your artwork to the value relationships that you see in your piece. So this will all make a lot more sense when you actually see it happening in real time when you see me executing this LLDCA process as I add the values and create a sense of form in my piece. That's what we're going to do in the demo coming up next. 6. Demo: Midtones Part 1: When working mid to dark to light, our first goal is always to lay down a large swath of midtone. Think is it just like a big midtone blanket that's going over everywhere that will eventually be, needs to meet darks to even your darkest darks. To do that, we have to get a good initial sense for the overall darkness or lightness of the main midtone in the subject and I'm going to use the locally down compare adjust method to do that. I am squinting my eyes, looking at my subjects, trying to see the values in the largest areas of the subject. In most subjects, these will most likely be midtones, and they are indeed midtones here in this subject. As I've done this, I have taken note of the darkest darks and lightest lights first to orient myself and then I'm trying to identify and based in midtones off of those dark-darks and light-lights. Once I have my best guess, I'm going to lay down some of that value I usually aim for it to be close to the midtone that I'm evaluating, but still quite a bit lighter, maybe 60 or 70 percent of the ultimate darkness that, that midtone will end up being once the piece is finished. In this case, I'm starting out with a pretty hard pencil. I'm using a 2H and I'm going ahead and lay down a little bit of it and then compare it to the reference image to make sure that I'm not getting too dark too early, and it looks pretty good to me. I'm just going to move across the whole surface is a piece everywhere that I think will ultimately be this shade or darker. I'm just laying down that big midtone blanket across the whole piece. This is essentially like a really long lay down phase. This will be the longest laid down phase, probably throughout the whole piece, unless we end up doing some work on the background. As I start with my initial pass on the midtones and trying to go really soft, maybe keep it at 68 percent of what I think it's ultimately going to need to be later on. I'm just trying to lay more a map for where I think the midtones will be almost the same way as when you're trying to hear proportions all nailed down, getting things in the right place, in the right relates to one another. I'm just trying to create a little map of where the midtones are and at this point, the midtones are actually going to be covering everywhere where there's a midtone and where there's a shadow. There may be some areas of this midtone that are going to get a lot darker later on, but I'm just going ahead and laying it down as one big midtone blanket. Also trying to keep the lightest lights totally untouched, since I can always add more darkness later if those do need to be darkened up. You can see the way that I am holding my pencil I've got it pretty far back here. I'm holding it towards the bottom of the pencil, that keeps you from getting too focused and pressing too hard. I'm just working my way really softly across these midtone areas for some version of squiggly shading. My intent to be a little bit closer to like little circles almost especially if I'm trying to stick really soft like I am now, they do tend to have a circular looked to them. But you could be working in whatever method you want and you could be doing hatching, crosshatching, however you want to get those initial shadows laid down, just be sure to try to keep it really soft at this beginning phase so that you have a lot of flexibility when it comes time to adding your dark shadows and your light highlights. If I see an area where I've put down some graphite that I actually shouldn't have, I'm just going ahead and pick right up with my eraser. No need to wait, just correct as you go. Even though I am just at this very early phase, this just beginning phase of getting all the midtones laid down. I'm still paying attention to what we talked about with different types of shadows and highlights and how some of them will have really hard edges, like these ones here, have a fairly hard edge, this one has a fairly hard edge right here. But then this shadow, which is definitely just a form shadow, has a much softer edge. This is a cast shadow, this is a cast shadow, this is a form shadow, so it has a much softer, more rounded edge to it and it's seeds into the light area a lot more. This shadow that I'm working on right down here is interesting because it's a cast shadow, but it connects to a form shadow over on this side, right here I want a harder edge, but I want this to have a softer edge. I'm trying to make sure to include that and of course, since we are trying to create a realistic image here drawing it, has a sense of realism. It's important to continue on with what you paid attention to in creating your sketch. In creating your sketch, you were probably really closely paying attention to where different lines intersected, where different planes intersected, making sure you could get all of those proportions nice and accurate. You want to continue that here, since you're no longer thinking about this, we're no longer thinking about our subject rather in terms of lines. We're thinking about it in terms of the planes of the subject, in the form of the subjects since we're really trying to create a sense of dimensionality with the shading. But just because we had moved on to shading doesn't mean you can stop paying attention to proportions. Proportions are important throughout the entire piece and that's one of the reasons why it's important to have a good understanding of them as the foundation. Pay attention to, where all of these shadows rather are in your subject. Don't just start laying them down willy-nilly make sure that you're taking note of where they are in relationship to the other elements in your drawing. You can do the same approach that I talked about in the foundational class to the proportions and observational drawing class. That is looking and measuring with your pencil if you need to, and still using the locally down compare adjust cycle for the placement of the shadows as well as for the value of the shadows. Initially I was leaving quite a lot of this bowl untouched, but I think I actually want to have it be a darker value than the lightest lights in the egg. In the subject, because this is sitting on a gray surface, the areas that are showing through the bowl that are lighter, most of them are actually not pure white. There are few little tiny pure white highlights on the edge of the bowl, but most of this is lighter. The lighter areas are lighter than the dark areas obviously, the lightest light areas in the bowl are still darker then the lightest light areas of the egg. That's why I has shifted gears here and tried to get a little bit of a midtone laid down there as well. Since we are working more or less in just a single blanket midtone value right now it's hard to see some of those several differences, but we will notice them a lot more once we start laying down some truly dark values since as we've talked about, values are relative. Anytime we're talking about values and an effective use of values are really talking about value relationships and the relationships between those darks and lights and midtones. The last area I want to get some midtone down is in the cast shadow here, blocked off where I want it and I'm just going to lay a nice solid blanket of mid, all throughout that. It can be tempting when you're working on a really big swath like this to let your rendering go a little bit, maybe to make marks that are a lot bigger or really different for sloppier than the marks that you were making in the rest of your piece. If you're just doing a value steady, if you're just doing a little sketch here to try to understand the lights and darks severe subject, then that thing is really no big deal. But if you're wanting to create a nice fully rendered finished drawing, even if it is only black and white, I would recommend taking the time and care to make your marks consistent throughout. Which gives the rendering of your piece really cohesive feel and also does help it look more realistic. Because if you have really bold marks in an area, they can tend to call a lot of attention to themselves, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does tend to detract from that sense of realism. If realism and a finished piece is what you're aiming for, I would recommend creating your marks in a cohesive way all throughout the entire piece. 7. Demo: Midtones Part 2: Now that I have a fairly even layer of midtone, a blanket of midtone laid down everywhere where there are mids or shadows, I'm working back over still at that same 2H pencil and just increasing a little bit of the nuance, increasing a little bit of darkness in some of these areas since it's not just a flat midtone, there is a lot of value differentiation. For example, if you look at this area here in the reference, it's quite a bit darker than the rest of the shadow, and there's actually even a little bit of a reflected light over here. So we may end up having to take away some of what I've laid down, but I just want to start differentiating and indicating some of those more complex areas in the shadows. Then later on we'll increase that difference even more by adding darker color and using a darker, softer pencil. Part of the reason that I have not changed pencils yet, I'm still working with this 2H pencil is that, I really don't have to worry about getting too dark since I know that if I'm using a harder pencil like this, it's only going to let me get to a certain level of darkness. Even if I were to press really hard and I'm still pressing quite softly. At this point I can just steadily build things up and not have to worry too much about going overboard. It will still erase relatively easily provided you're using a nice flat paper, a paper that was meant for pencil. This paper is really nothing fancy, it's just a recycled sketchbook paper. I think it's 60 pounds, so it's pretty lightweight. I did actually get a little bit too dark back here, I'm just using a kneaded eraser to initially stipple. I'm passing it onto the surface. You can maybe hear a little bit of this snappy sound as it sticks to the paper. This is a way of just partially erasing, pulling up some of the pigment. If I wanted to get really bright, which I may do right at the end here, I will actually kind of rub it in soft circular strokes. You can use a regular eraser for this too, like a vinyl or regular eraser. But it won't work as well for the gentle stippling and partial picking up of the pigment, the graphite, excuse me. If you do have a kneaded eraser, you can use both techniques, you can use the rubbing and the circular rubber. This whole time I'm just using the same process that look laying down, comparing, adjusting. That's how I'm noticing some of these errors that I've made, making simply too dark or too light. I'm just going ahead and fixing them as I move along. In a few of these little areas, these like little tiny triangles where they're super dark, I am pressing a bit harder still, probably, I don't know 50 percent of what I could press in terms of the strength that I actually have in my hand. So pushing harder for sure, but still not as hard as I can. Those will get even darker still as we develop subsequent layers. Again, I'm paying very close attention to the characteristics of the shadows. Since this one right here is a cast shadow, this part here, it's going to have a harder edge, a more clearly differentiated edge. This part here is a form shadow, so this is going to have a softer edge and feel like there's more of a gradient or a curve. Here as I added more middarks and increase the intensity of the value here, increase the darkness of the value. I'm also trying to keep that sharp edge to the shadow, but over here, I'm going to try to amplify the softness. This edge is very sharp, this edge is pretty sharp but not quite as dark as this edge, and this edge is much softer. Now this stage where you are working still with that same initial hard pencil and focusing mainly on the midtones and trying to develop the midtones, but more specifically the nuance in the midtones, so the middarks. This could be the longest phase in many cases because when you first just lay down that initial swath of midtones, you can go pretty quick, since you don't need to pay too much attention to where things are differentiated. You're just trying to get down to an overall blanket of midtones that's fairly accurate. But in this situation, we're trying to identify and describe all different sorts of nuances, both in the shapes of the shadows and then the values, differences in the shadows. Don't be afraid to take your time at this phase and go really carefully. This will seem really long, but once it comes time to adding those deepest, darkest shadows and really refine things further in terms of the value, things will go a lot quicker if you've been really accurate at this phase. Just take your time sticking with that initial pencil, trying to differentiate and describe as much as you can. Try not to rush yourself. You'll probably finish 70 percent of the piece or so this way. Then that remaining bit with the refining of the darks and adding the deepest darkest shadows, will actually go really quickly when you've gotten this all in the right place. Something that is an interesting characteristic of form shadows, this isn't always true. But a lot of the time with the form shadow, you'll have the darker area running in a band at or close to the edge of the shadow. Then there's a little bit of a reflected light that comes in on the backside of the shadow. Sometimes with form shadows, the darkest part can be at the very edge. But many times with form shadows, the darkest part is actually kind of in the top part of the shadow near where it meets the light. So be sure that you pay close attention to that and what you see in your reference. Don't just express what you think should be true in your mind. You may have a picture of, well, if it's a shadow then the darkest part is going to be at the bottom where it curves under. But that's not always the case. So be sure to take those cues from your reference, from real life and not just from what you have in your visual memory. Another surprising area in terms of light and shadow with the subject that I'm working from is this little triangle right here. If I were to go with my gut instinct, I would say this should be darker because it's underneath this. But actually just the way the light is bouncing around and reflecting this little triangle here is lighter than this part of the egg, which is actually on top. Another area where I just need to be really careful to pay close attention to the reference and what's happening in reality rather than what my brain thinks should be happening. In the first stage of this process, I really was focusing on just laying that big midtone blanket that was going to cover up everything that would ultimately be a midtown or a dark shadow. But at this phase, I'm really trying to focus more on differentiating some of the subtle differences in the shadow areas. So within the midtones there are areas that are darker and there are areas that are lighter. Then within the shadows it's the same thing, there are nuances that indicate where something is really far back in the piece that help it read is as a true shadow that's curving under that has a drop shadow on top of it. Then there are other types of shadows as well, the form shadows, which will be dark but not quite as dark. At this phase, I'm just trying to start to describe some of those things. So I have to pay much closer attention to their reference at this phase, interestingly enough, than I did at the first phase. During this phase I'm also going to adjust quite a bit more, if I feel like I've laid something down that's too dark, I'm going to go ahead and pull it back up. If something ends up in the wrong spot, I'm going to pull it back up as well. I am just working my way through that [inaudible] cycle over and over again, looking at the reference and trying to match what I see in the reference to my painting. 8. Demo: Midtones Part 3: Once I've gotten some more of the darker areas laid down, I often find that my midtone seems to be darkened and as well. As we talked about value is all relative and you can really only see it accurately when it's in comparison in relationship with other values. It only makes sense that as the darker values get described, some of what you thought was a midtone ends up being too light and vice versa can be true as well, but usually for me I would find where that things need to be darkened. I'm going to go through a modified version of the [inaudible] cycle once again, I'm going to look at my mid tones and I'm going to compare them to the shadows that I just laid down, asking whether they are too dark or too light or just right, and then I'm going to go through and adjust as necessary. It's important when you are doing this that you keep this shape of your subject in mind and keep thinking about your subject as the three-dimensional object in space. To do this you are going to have to draw from some of those skills that you have from learning proportions and perspectives, and they close attention to the placement of your shadows, the shape of your shadows, the characteristics of your shadows. Whether they have hard edges or sharp or soft edges, and in the case of the drawing that I'm working on there are a lot of curves, so I'm really trying to focus on, making my shadows follow along with the natural curves and contours of the subject. This is another one of those form shadows that has the darker area actually running out close to the edge of the shadow where it meets the light, rather than down at the bottom edge of the shadow where it curves under. Part of the reason we are getting so many of these kinds of shadows with this subject is that this subject itself is light in value. The eggs are white, which means that they are more likely to bounce and reflect light, so we are getting a lot of the reflected shadows. As part of the reason I chose this subject is they are a bit more challenging, excuse me, not reflective shadows, reflected lights. Those were an attractive thing to me about this subject both because I think they look interesting and they are fun to capture but they are also somewhat counter-intuitive, and require you to pay close attention and observe. It's a huge part of what makes for a realistic sense of light and dark and value. As I darken that value there, I can see that I actually need to modulate a little bit and add some settle of shading here to make that shadow feel like it's curving and soften the edge so it does not end up with a hard edge. Because values are relative, you will probably have to do more and more of that. The more you increase the value differentiation in the piece, the more dark you add the more you will see, I have to modulate this shadow and increase the gradient here because it just becomes black much less visible the more dark shadows you add. I'm just going to continue on developing more of the nuance in those midtone areas and trying to indicate what will ultimately become a shadow area later on. I'm still using the 2h pencil. A fairly hard pencil, and just working my way across the entire subject, across the entire surface of the drying. Differentiating, adding nuance, developing, and really taking my time doing that. Since this is, as I said, one of the more time-consuming phases of the project, and I'm just content to let it be that way. I might go ahead and speed things up a little bit here. Rest assured that I'm not doing anything different. I'm just continuing on with the same pencil, the same technique, working my way across the whole subject. At this point I'm going to pause with the 2h pencil and switch to a softer pencil. I'm going to start with a B, which is quite a bit softer, and that means it is time to move on to shadows. 9. Demo: Shadows Part 1: So our next goal is to lay down some of the darker tones, some of the really truly dark shadows that we see in the reference at maybe 80 to 90% of their darkness and then re-evaluate and adjust the mid tones as necessary. So as I mentioned, I'm switching to a softer pencil, which is going to enable me to get some of these values darker than they are right now, and I'm aiming for, not ultimately the darkest that they're going to be, but about 80 to 90% of their value. So I'm just going at this phase going right for the easiest ones to identify. So I can see this is very dark, this is very dark. This little area right here is very dark. This is very dark and then some of these darker values in the bowl. So I'm going to try to get all of those down first and then we will re-evaluate our mid tones. Since this pencil is so much softer than what I had been using, I'm actually not pressing any harder. I'm still barely, barely pressing probably, well, not barely, but probably 40%, 30 to 40% of how hard I could press. So still being pretty gentle and that's the advantage of changing to a softer pencil. So even if I had pressed really, really hard with the 2H, I could have gotten it a little bit darker than it was here, but at a certain point it just starts to scratch the surface of the paper. So it's really nice to have those softer pencils where you can get more graphite down without having to press really hard. If you're not familiar with working with softer pencils, you will notice that you have to sharpen them a lot more often. So unsurprisingly, since the graphite is softer, it loses its point more easily than hard pencil does. I'm continuing to use the look way down compare adjust method. Since I'm going for these darkest darks here. I'm mentally comparing them as I am in the look phase to lack on the value scale since I know they're going to get really close to black. They're not ultimately going to get to black, but I want to get them 80 to 90% of the way there, so I'm comparing them to the darker values on the grayscale in my mind as I make the decisions about how hard I want to press, how much graphite I want to lay down. Some of these cast shadows under the eggs as well where two eggs meet are actually quite dark, so I'm going to use the B pencil to darken those up a bit. Since I've switched to the softer pencil, it's now going to become a lot easier to smudge this graphite, and I don't want to do that. So I'm going to rest my hand on a piece of scrap paper. While I'm working in order to keep it from smudging any of that graphite. Just continuing to work with the B pencil here, the somewhat softer pencil, adding more of those dark areas, particularly focusing on the bowl at this point. I may go ahead and speed things up a little bit, but I'm just continuing on in that same technique using the same materials. So if you're seeing it go by a little bit faster, just know that that's what I'm doing. [MUSIC] It could be tempting to ignore the value development of this cast shadow here and I'm probably ultimately not going to get it as dark as it is in the reference because in the reference there's a dark gray cloth in the background and I'm not including any of that cloth so, this won't get as dark as it is in the reference, but it's still really important to darken it up quite a bit since that is part of what helps us be able to see the darkness in the subject and the bowl and the eggs. So getting the cast shadow to it's accurate relative level of darkness compared to the rest of your subject is super important and making it look realistic. An interesting characteristic of this shadows since we're talking about it, is that at least the part that we see, I'm sure further down over here, like off of the paper, it would begin to fade towards a lighter value, but here it's kind of behaving again a little bit the opposite way that you would expect a shadow to, where it is darker over here than it is right here in this area. So that's why I've started at this edge and I'm kind of working my way in because I want to capture that sense where it's lighter here since there's some light coming through the bowl. This is a clear bowl and then darker as it gets towards the edge. Okay. So I think I've gotten the darkest darks laid down at about 80 to 90%, probably closer to 80% of their ultimate value. So at this point I'm going to go through and look and compare and adjust and tweak some of these mid tones. Since I have gotten the darkest darks quite a bit darker, now it makes it easier for me to see where I need some of the mid darks to be a bit darker. So for example, up here, I think here probably, maybe even a little bit here, and definitely in here. All of those need to get darkend up a little bit. So I'm going to keep using the same B Pencil, but I might actually pop back and forth with the 2H pencil again, especially if I need to make sure to get an area kind of soft, but not too dark. It's a little hard to see in the reference, but this is a cast shadow right here as we've talked about. So we have a hard edge, but it's also kind of meeting up with the form shadow. So if you look at the very edge of this egg, it is actually a bit darker than the rest of the area of this shadow, so it helps indicate that it's curving backwards. I want to make sure to accurately describe that here. So I'm just going in really carefully. I'm holding the pencil a bit further, but closer to the edge, pressing a little bit harder. I just want to describe the curve of the egg. Now another thing I'm noticing as I am continuing to develop these shadows is that in the reference there is a pretty big temperature difference between this egg that's down here and this egg that's up here. This egg that's on top is a lot cooler. This egg that's underneath is a lot warmer. You can see some of these shadow areas in particular almost look a little bit pink and if we were working in color, we would definitely be sure to describe that, but what is happening here, since I'm just working in value is just in black and white. This ends up, this warm value ends up looking a little bit lighter to me even though it's actually just as dark as this one on the top. So I've just noticed that I've been making this too light down here, especially compared to what's up here. So and I'm noticing that by doing the same method that we've been doing, squinting my eyes, looking at the reference and I'm comparing this area, this dark area and this dark area and a reference and when I've got my eyes really squinted pretty closed and I'm just looking at the values. All of these shadows, these three areas of shadow right here that are on this bottom egg are just as dark as the areas of shadows that are on this top egg. So I need to darken those all up quite a bit. There isn't really going to be much of a differentiation between those two areas since this is black and white. As I said, if it was color, we would be sure to indicate that and you would see like a nice kind of warm glow in here. So that is something that we're losing with having this be just a value, value drawing, a value sketch as opposed to a four-color piece, but it's still more important to get the values accurate so to make sure these both are as dark as one another. So I'm just finishing up my development with the B pencil. Going to be ready to move on to the softer pencil and do the darker shadows pretty soon here. I just need to finish up this last little bit of nuancing and shading with the medium soft pencil. 10. Demo: Shadows Part 2: Hi. So for the next stage, we are going to try to lay down the darkest darks at 100 percent of their value. So I have switched to the softest pencil that I'll be using, which is a 6B. I'm going to just do the same process that I did when I was putting them down at 80-90 percent of their value. I'm going to go for the easiest areas first. So the areas where I can see most obviously that it is really, really dark or very close to black on the gray scale and I'm going to actually hold my pencil, probably the closest that I have held it to the end and just carefully using little tiny strokes, start describing some of those darkest darks. I'm going to bring back in the B pencil whenever I need to soften an edge or shade a little bit to create a sense of a gradient with a pencil that has a really soft graphite, the way that the 6B does. You can absolutely blend it with a paper stump and help create some of the gradient that way. I'm not going to do that in this piece. I think I'd rather just due to blending with the pencils themselves. But that is an option, especially if you are working on a piece that has a lot more dark areas and we're going to circle back to LLDCA once again. This time I'm going to go back and forth between looking at my illustration, looking at my drawing, and comparing the really dark values, the areas that I know should be really dark to some of those darker midtones and then I'm going to compare them to my reference. So I'm not just comparing what I've laid down to the reference image. I'm comparing the areas of darkness that are in my illustration that are in my drawing, comparing them to one another and then comparing those relationships to the reference image. That's really important when you're working on values. It's not just a one to one conversion. You're also converting the relationships that proportionality, if you will, of those values to one another. Once I have a sense of some of those nuances or the true darkest dark areas are, I'm going to lay down that value with my software pencil pressing as hard as I need to get it to the right darkness and then I'm going to go back and compare what I've laid down to the reference into the other values around it in the drawing. Of course, I'll adjust as necessary lightning by erasing or darkening by adding more pencil on top. So at this point I can see once I'm starting to get these really dark values down in the bowl which do need to be there. All of this other area and bowl, these midtones are too light and they're competing with the lightest lights that are up here in the eggs. So I need to do quite a bit of overall darkening in the bowl. This is again, just a great example of how seeing value is relative and you can really only see how dark something is when it's compared to the values around it. Now that I've gotten more of these true darks down, I can see that I have quite a bit of building up a value in the bowl to do to make this reflect what I see in the reference and also just to make sense on its own in its own universe. I may actually pull back in the 2H pencil here as well. I do need to get darker. I want to be careful not to get too dark. Something to keep in mind is that you can't get to a true deep dark black with graphite alone. So if you're working with pencil and your subject really calls for a true black, you can try layering on some other kind of media only in the really dark areas. Something like county cran or black colored pencil can work well and you can go back over that area with graphite to blend. Since my subject is overall pretty light, even though it does have a great background, I've decided not to do any true true black areas and my darkest darks are all just going to be described as graphite. This phase as a process is usually a lot quicker than the midtones and the middarks since the darkest darks are usually a relatively small part of the subject in terms of how much space they take up. The thing that's going to take up the most time is really looking in taking a lot of care and attention to make sure that you don't over-darken areas that don't need it, lay down that darkest dark pencil where it really shouldn't be laid down. Sometimes, especially if you've been exercising a lot of restraint when you've been laying down your mid-tones, it can be really tempting or at least it is for me to over darken things just because finally having that softer pencil on your hand just feels so good. It feels like you can really get things nice and crisp and lay down a lot more detail. But sometimes if you're not careful, that'll end up with over darkening your piece, which can throw the whole value scheme off. I'm just going to continue on here adding the darkest darks with the 6B pencil and then modulating and blending them with the B pencil as necessary. As you can see, I'm going to speed this up a little bit just since this phase of the process did take some time and I'm just doing this same thing over and over again, going back and forth between this 6B pencil and the B pencil. I'm actually going to switch now to a very hard pencil to 6H since that's going to let me go super, super light and I want to actually modulate some of these lighter values that I have here as a pure white. But the more carefully I look at them and especially the darker, the more I get these really dark values down. I can see that there's actually quite a bit of gradation in area like this. Even though it's mostly very light, this area right here is the pure white. This is all a little bit softer. So I'm just going in with a really light pencil, very light touch holding on the side to try to build up a little bit of value there. So it's not such a shocking pure white using the B pencil once again to darken this up. Hopefully with all this back and forth, you guys are getting a sense of what a balancing act this is and how all of the values really connect with each other and rely on each other. In order for one to read accurately, you really need all of them to be pretty accurate. I'm going to speed this up one last time here. I am continuing to just bounce back and forth between a few different pencils in the dark areas. I'm using this 6B and then the B pencils to soften and blend and then when you see me working in the lighter areas, I'm using the 6H pencil, which is the hardest pencil. At this phase, I'm just really working to get everything exactly as it should be to develop those little tweaks in the value. They're going to make this ultimately really read and feel as realistic. Just adding some final little dark touches here to the shadow area and then we're going to move on to the next phase. 11. Demo: Adjusting Values: At this point I'm starting to feel like the values aren't exactly reading as I want them to read, particularly in some of the lighter areas of the eggs. I've made a decision to shift gears. This wasn't something I'd planned on at the beginning. But as you can see, I am working on developing some of the background. I'm not going to get it as dark as it is in the reference image. But I do feel it's important to add a little bit of a darker value, just a super, super soft gray to the background since that's going to help the light, the really white areas in my eggs read as a brighter value as they actually are in real life. I'm using that super hard pencil again, the 6H pencil, and I'm holding it on its side, working really pretty lightly doing my little kind of curly, squiggly strokes in the background here. I am just working my way across the entire surface of the drawing. This part is going to be really tedious. Again, this can feel tempting to rush this and get kind of sloppy with your rendering and your strokes here, that is, if you do decide to render the background. That's an area that a lot of people get tripped up on in terms of the rendering and having the rendering look different in the background than it does in the rest of the drawing. If you do decide to develop the background, I'd encourage you to take your time and just slowly but surely make your way across the surface of the piece. You can see here that I actually do jump in and work on the eggs a little bit as I am adding that darker value to the background. Just as as happened throughout the entire piece, adding a darker value in one area will make it really obvious where you still need some development or maybe some darkness in another area. Since I've added this, I can see that some of the light areas of the egg still need to be tweaked so I'm kind of bouncing back and forth between the background and the eggs all with that 6H pencil. At this point, I have decided to use a little bit of a softer pencil. Nothing crazy. I'm just going to go with the 2H and I want to add a slight gradient. I want to have this right-hand side of the piece, or I guess the way that you're looking at it, it would be on left hand side, but the shadow side, the side of the piece that's out of the light, I want that to be a little bit darker, just slightly darker. I am using two different softer pencils, the 2H and even the B here. With the B, I am going so, so, soft, so light, I'm barely pressing it all. I'm just kind of letting it glides over the surface of the drawing, trying to create that gradient. A little bit of a sense of depth and darkness in the shadow side of the piece. Now tweaking some of those darker values that are in the bowl and underneath the bowl. I think we are finally ready to finish with this modulation phase, with this adjustment phase, and move on to the highlights. 12. Demo: Highlights: Last of all, we want to refine and nuance some of our lighter areas. We'll be using two different types of a resource to do this, plus the harder, lighter pencil that we started with, to soften the edges. This time with LDCA, we're basically just going to do the inverse of what we did with the darkest darks, we're going to squint our eyes and look at those light, light values. This time trying to see whether there are little areas of nuance within that super light value itself. Hint, they're almost definitely are. Most of the really light values that you see will have some differentiation within those values. It will only be really tiny areas that are a true pure white. Once I have a sense of some of those nuances and where the true lightest light areas are, I'm going to use my eraser to pull up some of the lighter value if I need to. There are a few areas where I'd gotten too dark that I can't see. Hopefully if you've done really well, and keeping your light values unpatched, you're not going to need to do too much erasing. Depending on the way you want it to look, you can either pull of a lot of the media, a lot of the graphite by rubbing your eraser back and forth, or if you want to pull up a little bit of it and you're working with a needed or rubber eraser, you can stippled it across the surface, just to pull up a little bit of the graphite while still leaving some of it laid down. Then of course go back and compare it to the reference and the other values around it. Adjust it as necessary by either erasing more, or darkening by adding some more of that harder pencil. Again, just as I did with the darkest darks, I am going to resist the temptation to over lighten areas that don't need it. when necessary, I'm just going to hop in with a hard pencil, either 6H or a 2H, to softened some of the edges to add back ingredients that might have cried and obscured by erasing, just to make sure everything comes together and is the right value, in the right place, or to make an area that really has a soft, delicate highlight, a hard bright highlights. This can again be hard to do if you're just starting out, but really trying to have some restraint will make the piece look much more realistic in the end, because it will give an accurate description of all the different types of light areas in dark areas that we talked about. So that's it, that is our demo all finished up. I will see you in the next section, where we'll talk about the class project and some wrap up for the course. 13. Class Project & Wrap Up: Welcome back and congratulations for making it through this whole class. We're finishing up the demo. We have now reached what I think of as the most fun part, which is the part where you get to go ahead and dive in. To take these concepts that we have talked about it at a theoretical level and then executed in the demo and really try to apply them to your own piece. So, starting with that proportional line drawing that we talked about, the one that you would need for this class. Go ahead and add darks and lights to that. You can use pencil if you want to, the same way we did in this class, you can just follow along directly with what I did in the demo, or if you want to really mix it up and try something different, you could use stippling and a sharpie pen or crosshatching and Conte crayons or squiggly marks and charcoals. You can really do any combination that you want. Just use that basic LLDCA, the look, lay down, compare, adjust cycle, to assess the values in your reference, in your subject, and then translate those values to your artwork. So, especially if you decide to take a little bit of a different approach, maybe you want to work light to dark or dark to light, or use a different media than we use. Please take lots of pictures and share those pictures in the class projects section. It's super helpful for others when they're learning to see other approaches, to see how other people interpret and execute the information that they learn in the class. If you feel comfortable sharing, I really encourage you to, I do my best to look at every project and to leave feedback on every project. And on that note, if you are wanting some honest constructive feedback, please indicate that in the notes in what you write about your project. If you just want to share your work, share what you've made, and not have any constructive feedback, that is totally fine too. But if you are really looking to grow and improve your skills and you are opened to some constructive feedback. Please let me know so that I can leave the kind of comments that are going to be really the most helpful for you. Lastly, I love sharing student work on my Instagram, so be sure to follow me. I'm at kendyllHillegas on Instagram. That's the best place to find me. Day in and day out sharing my work, sharing my process with you all. If you do post your work for one of my classes there, please tag me and use the hashtag Skillshare with Kendyll so that I can find your pieces and then share them in my insta stories. So, that's it. I really hope this class was helpful for you. I hope you learned something new. I hope you feel like you are ready and able to take on value development in your own artwork. If you're looking for the next class to take the next class in the series, it's class number three in my art foundations series, and that is color and creating realistic color in your work. You can find a link to that course as well in the class description here or on my Skillshare page, and I hope to see you there or in another class soon. Thanks again, you guys. Bye.