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Shading & Values: Use the Power of Light & Shadow to Create Realistic Art

via Skillshare


Knowing how to use shading to create a sense of light & dark in your work is absolutely crucial in making a drawing look realistic. You may have the most accurate and proportional line sketch in the world, but if it isn’t shaded well, it still won’t have a sense of form or dimension. 

That’s why, after proportions & basic observational skills, a solid understanding of value is the most important element in creating realistic work.

In this class, we’ll learn:

  • 5 Different techniques for shading
  • 4 Different types of shadows and highlights and how they communicate form
  • To use comparison to see dark and light values accurately, and to translate them to a drawing, creating a sense of weight and realism in our subject

We’ll have a series of sit down lessons where I’ll unpack each of these concepts, and then a detailed, real-time demo where I’ll create a demo drawing from start to finish, explaining the process of shading and the concepts behind realistic values it as I go along.

After completing this course, you’ll have a good understanding of darks/lights and how they work in art, and will be able to apply the concepts to your own work to create realistic form, weight and dimension.

This class is best suited for beginning artists who have some familiarity with drawing and proportions, but want to take their skills up a notch and learn how to use value to create realistic form.

We’ll be focusing entirely on values and shading in this class, and won’t go into perspective or proportions at all, so you’ll need a basic line drawing to get started. If you don’t feel comfortable with proportions yet, I’d recommend you take part 1 of this series first:

After you complete this course, if you're interested in learning to create realistic color, take part 3 of my Drawing Fundamentals Series:



  • Intro
  • What is Value?
  • Supplies & Method
  • Types of Lights & Darks
  • Look, Lay down, Compare, Adjust
  • Demo: Midtones Part 1
  • Demo: Midtones Part 2
  • Demo: Midtones Part 3
  • Demo: Shadows Part 1
  • Demo: Shadows Part 2
  • Demo: Adjusting Values
  • Demo: Highlights
  • Class Project & Wrap Up

Taught by

Kendyll Hillegas

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