Shading plays a major role in realistic art. It can be defined as an art used to show the depth of the subject or the drawing. Drawing is the imaginative piece of art on the two dimensional material while the real subject is three dimensional with value and contrast thus shading is a technique which takes your drawing to the next level giving it a realistic appeal.
The major techniques used in shading is Cross hatching, smooth pencil shading, Stippling pencil shading, Slinky pencil shading, Circulism pencil shading and Contour Shading. Cross hatching is method which involves drawing alternate set of lines that cross-over each other in a criss-cross pattern. Smooth shading involves usage of soft strokes which helps in defining effective and most realistic shapes and pictures. Stippling which is also known as pointillism is a similar technique as that of cross hatching where the criss-cross lines are replaced by spots close to each other and further apart accordingly. Slinky pencil shading is a technique where very fast forth and back motions are made with the pencil forming the shape similar to that of slinky. Circulism pencil shading is a technique where shading is done with circles, small circles close to each other defining darker shades and large circles apart to depict lighter shades. Contour shading is a technique which involves following the contour of a line or the lines of a shape of your particular subject.
Now let’s learn why shading is an important aspect of drawing and how is it beneficial. Pencil shading is an unbelievable technique which brings and adds life to your two dimensional and flat drawing giving it a realistic and natural appeal. It is of great importance when it comes to addition of subtle details to impart life to your drawings. Without shading a drawing looks lifeless and dead, it just breathes life into the drawing. Secondly it helps in bringing the 3D aspect of your drawing; every natural object has more than two dimensions and with shading an artist successfully brings out the dimensions of the subject bringing out the originality of the subject. Thirdly it exquisitely defines the sketch or the drawing, it is difficult to interpret a drawing without details and thus shading adds value to the object, it brings out uniqueness and allows the audience to identify the object. Accuracy of shading gives a clear identification and actualization. Lastly it brings in professionalism, this simple technique brings out uniqueness of the artist, and it helps the artist stand out from the rest as without shading all the drawing will look similar.