Where there is light, there are shadows. This is why it is necessary for us to know where the source of light is when shadowing. This is the first thing that you should decide before putting the shadows. And yes, you saw it right. The shadows should appear on the opposite side of the light source. The same thing when your light source is above the letters, your shadows should be beneath the letters. Consistency is the key to have a successful 3D illusion for your lettering piece. You can decide to put the light source on the left for something you do today, and put it on the right side for another piece tomorrow.
Enough for all those technicalities!
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Here are the 5 shadowing techniques that I commonly use. Just like what the name says, this is the most basic shadow you can put on your letters.
Font and alphabet line shadow bold typeface Vector Image
This is great for those who have never tried shadowing before! You can apply it either on the left or the right side, depending on where the light source is. Any color would do.
Determine where to put the shadows. You can use a pencil to mark where the shadows should appear. Erase the pencil marks if they are too obvious. This will make the shadows look neater. This is something that most beginners tend to miss. Leave the black ink and let it totally dry for a couple of minutes. It could spare us from the nightmare of seeing it bleed or smudging it when applying the lighter shadows.
But it could be a good effect for Halloween, lol. Optional: Erase the pencil marks if there are still any. I use this in monochromatic means using only one color lettering pieces. The shadows create an illusion that some parts are on top of the others. So the shadows should appear on the parts that are NOT on top. You may also use colors in analogous harmony. For example: orange, vermilion, red. The base color is the lightest shade of color you have among your set of pens. So if you have red, orange, vermilion, you must use orange as your base color.
Decide which parts should be on top. Mark them using a pencil as a guide. Apply the colors on the shadow area starting from the darkest. We need to blend the colors carefully. The darkest should blend with the medium one and do it until you reach the base color. In our example, apply red starting from the pencil guide.
Then gradually going farther from the pencil guide, next is vermilion, which should blend with red, and lastly orange, which should blend with vermilion. You can use a little of black or brown as the darkest shade, except when working with neon colors like yellow, apple green, etc. This may be a little more difficult than the others at first, but when you finally get the knack of it, it will be super fun and addictive. You have to understand how real ribbons are spiraled and how the curves produce shadows. Now, we will combine this concept with the concept of thick and thin strokes of calligraphy to create the ribbon illusion.
The back and front of spiral ribbons have the same width. Hence, when doing the ribbon style, try writing the up and down strokes using similar or the same width. This will make the ribbon illusion more successful. Using a pencil, mark all those twists and transition sections between letters.
Put the shadows on the up strokes. Apply the darkest color starting at the pencil guide. Blend the darkest with the medium shade and lastly, blend the medium with the base color just like what we did in Overlapping Shadow. The farther the shadow area from the curve is, the thicker your ribbon will appear. I mostly use this technique in digitized lettering but this is also great in analogue ones!
This also creates an illusion that some parts are on top of others.
How To Draw Block Letters
Make another layer of outlines, but make them thicker this time. Fill in the white spaces between and inside the letters with your black marker.
Using a pencil, determine where to put the cutting shadow. Put them on parts that you want to look on top. They are usually found in intersecting parts of letters. Basically speaking, when a light is blocked by a thing and that thing is a little far from a surface, a drop shadow can be formed on the surface. Drop shadow is a common technique that is also great for beginners.
Place the paper where you wrote the word under a new thin sheet of paper. Trace the word using a colored pen. Then trace the outline of the word using a pencil.
The shadow looks sloppy at the moment. Just like what we did in the drop shadow technique. For you not to forget what you have learned today, you have to practice as much as you can. You can even discover another shadowing technique and be a shadowing expert someday! STEM: Stars and Constellations In this activity, students will work in pairs to research what causes the apparent brightness of stars and constellations.
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