How to Add Shadow and Depth to Your Chalk Drawing

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 27,733
    Art teacher Mary DAmico demonstrates how to add shadow and depth to your chalk drawing.

    Mary D' Amico

    Mary is an Art Teacher in Fairfax County Virginia. Mary is in her 5th year of teaching. She also teaches private art lessons. Her specialty is in watercolor and pencil drawing. Mary attended Kutztown University and obtained a BS of Art Education in 2002. She is currently working to obtain a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from VCU. She has experience working with ceramic clay, fiber arts, jewelry making, oils and acrylics. Mary enjoys painting scenes of Italy from her visit there in 2004. She also paints series of beach seascapes.

    Mary DAmico: Hi, My name is Mary DAmico and I am private art instructor and I am here working with one of my students Summer. We are working on a chalk pastel technique using a subject of Still Life flowers and so, now we are at the point where we have our preliminary drawing, we have gone over our chalk pastel techniques, and we started layering the first layer of the color on to our drawing. Now, we are ready to start talking about how to create the light and shadow in the drawing so that it looks more three-dimensional on our paper.

    First, we had already started with the vase and how to make it more like a cube shape. So, since it is transparent you want to make sure that you can see through the vase. So, we do see the stems inside and then we can create the shadow on the side of the vase and inside. So, if we take a grayish color since it is a clear vase, we can just go along the edges of the vase, and what I did was, I just went on a diagonal and very lightly went over the vase on the side and then I can take my blending stick and pull that color across to make it a little more soft, since it is a glass. We want to create the right texture for the object, so I just slightly pull this across.

    I want to make sure that its not too dark of an edge on the vase. As we mentioned before, when we are adding shadows to our drawing, we want to use the complimentary color, so that we can create more of a shadow and then we dont dull out the color. So, when we are using reds and pinks the complimentary color of red would be green. So, you can see how this works and I am starting to add shadow towards the edge of the petal. Lets take a color and very lightly do overtop and then I can keep layering my reds and blending and just like we had showed earlier with our technique. Again, if you do use a black pastel, it tends to take away the brightness of the red. So you may see more of a shadow in the bottom of the flower where you see the stem. So, again we can just go over that. Now, to add more of a shadow on to our stem we are going to use red, because red again is the compliment of green. Red and green work together.

    So, I can take this and go on the edge where my shadow is, then I continue, going down I want to be consistent as I go along. I just keep layering overtop, all the way throughout the color, the picture. I want to make sure that I color in over all the paper for the flower. Now, I see more light spots, I can go over with my yellows. To create more of a highlight if you have a white pastel you can use that as well or if you have a lighter pink, you can use that, have little bit of white into it and that also gives really nice blending of a color. Again, we are just kind of pulling the color together, we are overlapping. When you have completed flower, our end result should be close to this. This is one finished flower with the highlights and the shadows. We have more of a shadow on the side and again closer to the base of the flower. Next we are ready to move on to finishing up our drawing, our Still Life drawing and then working to frame our drawing.