A beginner's guide to shading theory

images of cube and sphere with light shining on them
(Image credit: Charlie Pickard)

One of the most fascinating topics in any artist’s journey is shading. As artists we are always working with light and, as such, it will always be a fundamentally important topic of study. In fact, light is the only way we can see anything at all. A truly powerful understanding of light will inspire our audience and lend our work more majesty.

However, when approaching this topic it is easy to feel intimidated and overwhelmed as it can seem complex and hard to tackle. Most often this difficulty occurs because students attempt overly complex subjects without properly understanding the most fundamental and simple of forms. Often, knowledge of these forms is taken for granted.

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Charlie Pickard

Charlie Pickard is a classically trained fine artist and illustrator. Recently awarded the Philip de László Award for Excellence, Charlie continues to work, exhibit and teach out of his studio based in London.