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This instructable will cover the basics of adding shadows and dimension to drawings as well as some basic rendering techniques.

The previous Instructables in this series covered the basics of selecting drawing tools, drawing posture, making a straight line, and drawing in 2-point perspective.

Here are my other drawing Instructables:

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Draw-For-Makers/

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Draw-Perspective-For-Makers/

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Draw-Perspective-II-For-Makers/

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Draw-Constructing-For-Makers/

Step 1: Casting a Shadow

The easiest way to cast an accurate shadow from a simple figure is by dropping the top face of the figure to the ground plane and shifting it back as long as you'd like your shadow. (the higher the light source is the shorter the shadow is. Just like how your shadow is smallest at noon when the sun is directly above you and gets longer as the sun sets.)

Start with a simple shape like a cube or cylinder.

Redraw the top surface on the ground plane shifted back and to the side about half way.

Connect the front corner of the shadow to the leading bottom corner of the figure.

This area is your shadow.

If you're having a hard time visualizing this in perspective try first drawing it from a top down or side view.

Practice this technique from different angles with cubes and cylinders.

Remember that shadows still follow the rules of perspective and recede to vanishing points.

How does the shape of the shadow change when you move the light source?

<p>I have a mechanical design background but never learned to freehand sketch. I feel terribly clumsy without a ruler and compass or a 2D cad program. Now I'm in the final running for a lighting designer job, and 3/4 through a 2 week test assignment and I REALLY wish I had these skills. Any suggestions for learning this in a day or two? ;-)</p>
<p>Unfortunately this isn't a skill that can be picked up in 1-2 days (though I really wish it was). Go through all my drawing Instructables (they should only take a day) and you'll get a better grasp of the concepts as well as some practice developing good drawing habits. </p>
I want to get into Industrial Design, and I love these tips!<br>are you planning on doing more?
<p>If there's enough interest I'd definitely consider making more!</p>
<p>Do recommend any particular brand of markers for this style of rendering? I've always heard Prismacolor or Copics are the way to go, but I haven't gotten that far yet with any of my ideation sketches.</p>
<p>Those are the brands I use. I also like microns and sharpies for line drawing. Nice markers can be expensive but if you're serious about developing your rendering skills buying a set of markers is a good idea. Having the right tools for the job can make a real difference. </p>
<p>Sorry to be critical of what I otherwise think is a great series of instructables, but I think your 3D shadow example is potentially confusing. The top and side 2D views correctly show how the light source and the corners of the object project to the corresponding corners of the shadow, but the 3D view just before it doesn't honour that. If you do the reverse projection on the 3D view, the apparent light source is actually much, much higher than is shown. I think a novice might struggle to reconcile that and determine where the shadow should really go.</p><p>See below for an illustration of what I mean.</p>
<p>You're absolutely right! Can't believe I missed that </p>
<p>The 2D views actually have an issue too. Individually they seem reasonable, but they're not consistent with each other. The side view is telling us what the length of the shadow should be (since it knows the heights of the floor, the top of the object and the light source), but the top view ignores that. The top view tells us the direction of the shadow, but we need to project from the side view to see how far the shadow should extend.</p><p>If the 3D view is updated to have a shadow that large, it will now be consistent with the light source shown and all will be right with the world. Well, this little bit of the world :-)</p>
<p>id give my one of my toes just to draw like this , its an art in its self, renderings</p>
<p>No need to cut off any toes, just keep practicing!</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: Hey there! I'm recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University's Industrial Design program and a former Instructables intern. When I'm not working in ... More »
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