Many of the three-dimensional forms of both the human figure and the clothes it wears (which mostly take the shape of the different parts of the figure) are similar to simple geometric forms, such as spheres, cubes, or cylinders. To understand the principles of shading, it is helpful to examine how these forms are shaded when drawn on paper to appear three-dimensional.



Each form can be viewed as made up of two-dimensional shapes which take on a three-dimensional appearance when shading is added. Shading is made with successive layered applications, with the parts in shadow receiving the densest applications and the highlights or core lights being shown by the unmarked white of the paper. Many parts of the body and the garments that cover them resemble these basic forms. When considering how to shade a part of a garment it is useful to decide which geometric form it resembles.



The outline of a 3-dimensional sphere is a circle, from which ever direction it is viewed-the same as its corresponding 2-dimensional shape. (Note that this is not the case with other 3D objects like cubes, pyramids, or cylinders). To draw a sphere, start by drawing a circle with a highlight at the top – a small area of light. This is the area that is facing the light source and receiving most light. Outside this small area the sphere bends away from the light and moves into shadow. At the bottom of the sphere its surface receives no light at all and is completely in shadow. The sphere is shaded by making it progressively darker as it bends away from the light. If the sphere rests on a table top it casts a round shadow known as a cast shadow. The point at at which the sphere touches the table is very black and is known as the tangency. This area is drawn with a thick black line.



A cube has six square faces set at right angles to each other. Start by drawing the face that is in front view and parallel to the plane of the paper with four equal sides. For the other two faces, create two parallelograms, drawing parallel lines that slant (in this case) to the right for the top of the cube and a third parallel line to indicate the side face. If the cube is lit from the front, the front view face will appear light. The base of the cube is dark as it is tangent with the table top. Cast shadows appear to have the same shape as the cube and reflective light extends out in any direction.



The cylinder is shaped as a rectangle in one of its cross-sections and a circle in the other. When drawn at an angle to appear three-dimensional it is shown as a rectangle with ovals, or ellipses, at either end. It appears frequently in fashion drawing as a form used to express arms, legs, fingers, the neck, the nose, toes and lips, the drapes, and folds of fabric.




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