Monday, September 1, 2008

Noticing Shading and Highlights

When teaching students to do shading in drawings or paintings you can find examples from popular culture as well as the fine arts.

Imagine for example, if students thought about adding color to the black and white image of Mickey Mouse (left). They could use flat color (center) or they could create a 3D effect by adding shading, shadows, highlights and reflections (right).

Take a look at details in the shading like the shadow of Mickey's lower face on his chest. Notice the subtle shadows below his pants legs and nose. Look at the cylinder-like shading on his legs. See the reflected light that lightens up just a sliver of the shaded sides. Point out the highlight on his nose. See the reflected light hitting the bottom of his shoes. Have students look for examples of highlights, shading, cast shadows, and reflected light.

Helping students see how to add shading effects in this simple form will help them see how to do it in more complex forms.

Click on the images to see larger versions.

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