Unit 2: Shading and Form

Your drawings will transform before your eyes from a simple outline into an amazingly realistic image.
Join DrawPj student Sheila Russell Perry as she learns how to give her drawings a wonderful three dimensional look.

Unit 1 Outline Drawing

This unit is the second in a series of six units which together form the Complete Drawing Certificate Course.

The journey continues… DrawPj student Sheila Russell Perry studies shading and form. Here you can witness every step of Sheila mastering the smooth shading technique to give her drawings real depth. You can do it too!

Starts off simple and then dives deep!

Again, this unit starts off simply as you learn three different ways to shade an area, then it moves through to drawing 3D solids, objects and then the final project ‘The Shoe Well Travelled’. It’s at this point most student experience the WOW factor as they create something that they might not have thought possible before!

Video screencast critique feedback

Sheila’s instructor is Tannis Trydal who you will see provides excellent feedback with personally recorded video screencasts. This is exactly the same level of personal attention you will receive when you enrol in the Complete Drawing Certificate course with instructor support.

The Shading and Form Drawing Lessons begin…

Assignment Unit 2: Week 1
– Value scale in graphite pencil
– Shaded curves
– Shading three different tonal changes


Hi Tannis! Here’s my next assignment!

Pencil shading and gradient exercises


Beautiful work! Your smooth shading technique is very good already!
Here is a link for a few suggestions to help you even more.

Have fun shading your shapes next week!

Assignment Unit 2: Week 2
– Shade a cube
– Shade a cylinder
– Shade a sphere
– Shade a cone


Here’s my next one! I’m going to use my Arches paper for the next assignment to see it I notice any difference between the hot press papers. Anyhoo, I am sure enjoying this drawing course. It’s kind of consumed my life right now. And I mean that in a totally good way!!!! I just love doing any kind of art! I was watching the Today show this morning and there was a segment on if you ever wanted to quit your job to follow your true passion. Oh my god, that is my life right now. I’ve been trying to convince my husband for the last year that I need to retire so I can indulge in my passion of art!

Shaded pencil drawing of a cylinder, cone, sphere and cone


Hi Sheila, Beautiful Shading! With your paper, I was surprised that you were using a hot press watercolor paper last week… like you, I noticed little spots where the graphite was concentrated. I think that you’re right about the brand… it’ll be interesting to see the difference and hear your impressions of the arches:) Please see the video comment attached.

You know Sheila, I was like you… I wanted to quit my job so bad, hehe! Teaching art allows me to follow my passion to create art and to share my knowledge with others. I haven’t regretted leaving my 25 year career as an newspaper advertising exec. You know, if you were so inclined and interested in teaching Cindy’s course in the real world, it is a real option:) We have several people in the world who teach her course within their geographical areas… just something to keep in mind:)

Assignment Unit 2: Week 3 – Shaded drawing of a silver kettle


Hi Tannis! Here is my tea kettle. I do notice improvement with the Arches! Much smoother to work on. I don’t have to fight with the paper as much.

Shaded drawing of a silver kettle


Oh my, Sheila, this is stunning! Congratulations!!! I’m happy that you like the arches… we shouldn’t have to fight with the paper:) Beautiful smooth shading! I will comment tomorrow or the next day… for now I just wanted to say… wow, really very nice!


No worries Tannis! I know I am working way ahead of the timeline.


Hi Sheila, My goodness! Your silver kettle is outstanding!very nice smooth shading! Please see the video comment that I’ve prepared for you at the link below…

Exercise Unit 2: Week 4 – Shaded Column Fold


Ok here’s my umbrella!

Pencil drawing of a shaded column fold


Sheila, you’re drawing skills are getting better and better with each exercise! have fun with next week’s urn! Here’s the the video comment…

Assignment Unit 2: Week 5 – Shaded drawing of an Urn


Here is my urn. Next time I’m going to make my own outline/tracing rather than using the one that’s given in the unit. I found that there were a few areas that didn’t quite match up to what I was trying to do. Plus it’s kind of hard to interpret someone else’s markings and what they meant. I think the top part of the urn turned out pretty well, the bottom area not as well. But I am learning a whole lot through this process! I appreciate your feedback and I really like that it’s a video. It really helps to understand what you mean. I imagine it’s a lot easier to do it that way than to type out everything!

Shaded pencil drawing of an Urn


Hi Sheila, This is an outstanding urn! Congratulations… please see the link below for your video comment. By the way, in the video, I forgot to tell you about the area at the letter D… just look for a level 6 shadow shape there. I’m happy to hear that you like the video commenting, you’re right its much easier, less typing:) Although, it’s hard not to ummm and ahhh sometimes:)

I understand what you are saying about all the markings. It is great to discover all the little details for yourself. There are so many little details in this image that it can be confusing:)

Have fun shading your shoe… my goodness! You’re almost finished unit 2!
Keep going!

Final Project Unit 2: Weeks 6 and 7 – Shaded Drawing of ‘Shoe well travelled’


I know you have missed hearing from me! I had been on a little vacation and then have been working very hard on the shoe. This was a lot of fun to do. I did do my own tracing for the shoe. It’s likely on this next unit I will take a little longer to complete as I will be starting back at work soon. Not happy about that but oh well! I have had a lovely summer off and it’s always sad to start back at school/work. I’m looking forward to starting the next unit!

Shaded graphite pencil drawing of a leather shoe


Oh my… Sheila this is gorgeous! So beautiful and in particular I love the dark tones you’ve achieved. Many students don’t create beautiful dark level 6 tones… so this is awesome! I will prepare your graded document for you and I’ll send it to you sometime within the next 2 weeks. In the meantime, you are welcome to begin unit 3… Portraiture!

It’s never fun to go back to work:) especially after having such a lovely time! I know that you’ll find time for your course though:) Art is a passion for you:) You’ve demonstrated that:)

Don’t work too hard:) Your shoe is so lovely! By the way, did you notice that your kettle is a featured student artwork?


I just had a friend ask about the program!!!! She’s interested too.

I have a few work days that I need to do in the next two weeks then I’m officially back at it the end of the month full-time. Maybe I can set up a drawing table in my office! (Not likely…).


That’s fantastic, Sheila! I’m really excited to see what you’ll accomplish in the next unit! Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could set up a drawing table at work? If you’re like me though, once I get going, the house could fall down around me and I wouldn’t notice:)

Congratulations again on a stunning shoe! I have attached your graded document and certificate of completion. I don’t award this grade often:) you earned it! Well done!!!


Oh my gosh! Thanks Tannis! I am pleased with the shoe, but of course I also see several areas that I can work on. I am amazed at how much I have learned and developed in such a short amount of time. I have always thought I was talented with art so it’s so exciting to now finally embrace it and to devote time to learn and develop skills. It makes me sad that I have waited so long to do it, but the time just wasn’t right.


Fantastic, Sheila! I am so pleased that you are happy to be embracing this learning process. I can hear the excitement in your voice 🙂 Have fun in the next unit.

Extract from graded document

At the end of each instructor supported unit, the instructor grades the final project, provides a written critique and issues a certificate. Below is an extract from the graded document for Sheila’s ‘Shoe well travelled’.


Hi Sheila, Congratulations on an outstanding drawing! Your shoe is fantastic. I am so impressed with how well you’ve used the 5 major areas of light and shade to create this realistic and very three-dimensional drawing. Your smooth shading and circling techniques are very good, and I especially like variety tones especially the dark values you’ve achieved. Overall, this is a very successful drawing and you should be very proud of what you’ve accomplished!

Instructor critique of shaded drawing of a leather shoe

The top of the shoe area is beautiful! At the letter A, well done on copying the M-shaped fold. The impressions look great, perhaps you could hatch a few black lines over top to break them up, but otherwise this is excellent! You’ve done really well to copy many of the different levels of tones, subtle gradations and soft shadow edges that give this area character and form. Well done!

At the letter B, I love the variety of tones and subtle gradations that you used to create this area. At the letter C, consider creating a  reflected light area along the outside edge to make this area appear more rounded. At D, a sliver of reflected light along the bottom edge could be created to define the shapes in this area more. At E, consider creating little bits of cast shadow here and there under the heel.

Fantastic job shading the laces! You’ve shown tremendous patience shading small details like these. You’ve shaded the stitches beautifully too, the extra time you’ve taken the time to shade each of them has good form. At the letter F, try adding a thin strip of shading alongside the stitches that gradates quickly to the highlight area. This would give these areas a slightly rounded area.

Awesome work, Sheila! Congratulations again, I wish you all the best in Unit 3!


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