How to add shading to your lettering work
Some lettering artists use shadows to make their work pop out and look as if it is 3D. How do they achieve such an effect?
Adding shadow to your lettering work sounds so much harder than what it actually is. It does require practice and some preparation as in imagining where the light comes from. This way you can make accurate shadows to your letters.
In this tutorial I will show you and teach you how to make the basic grey shadows. So let’s have a go!
As a little girl, I grew up in a small town an hour drive south of Stockholm, Sweden. When people hear the word Sweden, they instantly think of lakes, forests and lots of snow! Yes, Sweden has a lot of these three (and much more to love!) I remember walking home from school every fall, along a sandy road going into the deep forests to where my family lived. The trees sparkling their many beautiful fall colors and the mud reaching up to my calves. Pulling my jacket closer to my body, trying to keep the cold wind out, wishing the rain would turn into snowflakes.
And then one day the constant rain drops get turned into small crisp snowflakes which you could catch on your tongue! I love the smell and the feeling of that first snow.
Snow is so magical. It covers the earth with its soft white blanket, making my steps crunch in the snow and muffles out all other sounds. The dark days become a whole lot brighter with the white snow lightning up the landscape.
Let’s use snowflake to reflect how magical this nature phenomena can be.
Let’s start shading!
Start out by writing or drawing out the word. Making big block letters will make the learning the shading process so much easier.
Think of where you want the light source to come in from. I always like to picture a huge light-bulb hanging somewhere in my drawing. My preferred side is left. Which one is yours?
Draw the light source if this will help you get a bigger and better picture of where you want the shades to go.
Now that you figured out where you want your light source to come from, think about how the light will fall naturally on your letters. Sketch lightly with a pencil where your shades will go.
Think a bit critically before inking your shades. I sure wish I had done so before shading my L! When you are happy with how it looks, start inking in your shades!
For my shading, I use a grey Zebra marker. I really love it! On some paper, it looks like aquarel paint. Loooove it!
This was my first shading tutorial. Of course there are so many other ways of shading your letters which I will cover later on. If you want to learn more about shading or just really like this blog, sign up for my newsletters so you do not miss out on new content.
Have a wonderful day!