A more “classical” form of shading


While in Astoria and looking at various old prints I kept noticing a style of line shading that was employed in etchings and seems to be derived from methods of shading used sometimes in renaissance sketches etc. I’ve been meaning to learn it since it has a nice way of giving more form to the object and texture without overwhelming the image.

For a rodent, or any furry creature, it only half makes sense since normally you’d want to go with the direction of the hair. It looks OK on a furry creature, but the inverse (going with the long direction of a plane on an object) makes things look, well, furry!

Anyway- I hope to continue to refine this technique as it will be very handy for all sorts of effects in many mediums AND it lends it self well to letterpress prints where I could use extremely fine detail.

In the end it’s a combination of light direction and having the lines radiate out from the point the light strikes an object while following the shape. I overlayed some guides to better illustrate the concept. (The yellow arrows are the light direction and where it’s striking the form at greatest intensity and the red arrows are the contour directions.)