Tips to Help Represent Light and Form

by Todd Harris - Date: 2007-01-21 - Word Count: 436 Share This!

If you have always wanted improve your figure drawings you are not alone. If you have been making due with stick figures and indecipherable scribbles for long enough, you are in the right place. Of course I'm being a little faciscious with the stick figures and indecipherable scribbles, but really know this. Anyone can learn how to draw people as long as they have a passion to do so! So many people complain that they were not born with the ability to draw well, so that must mean they are just not meant to draw.

Being an artist, you may know of the difficulties that it sometimes is to represent light and form correctly. Light is represented by gradations of tone and how the tone interacts with the form. There are many mistakes common to artists when shaping light. This article will help you avoid some of the most common problems in this area.

Some of the common mistakes artists make when drawing is…just trying to copy values, incorrect observation, not knowing where the light source is coming from. There are techniques, however, that artists can do to avoid these mistakes completely.

Light is molded and shaped by using darker tones on everything that isn't light and letting the paper do the rest. Simply put, let your paper show through the more light you want to portray. Darken the parts of the form that need to be. If using toned paper, a white pencil can help you lighten areas after the darkening down has been done.

Some careful considerations you should take as an artist are: remember the direction of the light, remember the angle fromwhich you are drawing, and remember how far there is between the model and the light. I can't stress enough how important it is to remember where your light source is coming from.

Another tip to remember when drawing is, between the shadows and light there are tone gradations to consider. These tips will help your drawings portray a more accurate likeness with lighting and help you shape the light. It will also help you start observing light sources more accurately.

While you may not think these are big adjustments to make to your drawings, you will see drastic improvements to your figures by implementing just these few tips. You will see the human form come to life through your art, you will be able to more easily avoid the mistakes common to artists, and you will see an improvement to your drawings that you haven't thought possible.

By following these simple steps, you will have taken a great step in the journey to mastering the human form.

Related Tags: art, drawing, figure drawing, how to draw people, learn to draw people, how to draw faces, learn to draw faces, how to draw eyes, life drawings, how to draw nudes, how to draw figures, sketching, life drawaings, how to draw hair, how to draw clothes

Todd Harris is a master artist who is currently working as a concept art director for a multi-billion dollar corporation. He is trained in the Florence Academy Method. is a resource based website devoted to aspiring artists wishing to master figure drawing. Visit to get tips, tricks, and techniques to master the human form. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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