What is the meaning of shading?  

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Shading is a technique used by illustrators, designers, and other visual artists to create the illusion of depth in a two-dimensional medium. This is achieved by adding a denser amount of media in order to create darker points in the work that correspond with a specific light source. In the case of colored media, simply applying thicker areas of media is not enough, and a darker color must be used.

There are many shading techniques that artists employ. Hatching and cross-hatching involve creating the illusion of depth with spaced lines running parallel and perpendicular, respectively. Stippling is a type of shading that utilizes a series of small dots to show the locations of shadows. Many impressive and photo-realistic works have utilized a blending tool in order to create shadows that look so real it is hard to believe that they have been drawn.

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Shading is a technique used in visual arts, such as pencil drawing, to create a sense of depth or dimension and express the relationship between the subject matter and a light source. Shading is very easy to achieve in pencil drawing by layering pigment in such a way that it creates a gradient from the brightest to darkest points of a drawing. This may be more difficult to achieve in mediums such as paint or pastel, which typically require introducing an entirely new color to the work, rather than simply layering more pigment.

Shading can also be used to create a sense of contrast in monochrome works of art where there is no color used for differentiation of subject matter. For example, shading can be used to create the sense that an apple is of a different color than the table it sits upon. Additionally, shading can create a sense of movement and emphasize a particular mood the artist may wish to convey through his or her work.

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What is shading?

First, here's a basic definition from Merriam-Webster: "the use of marking made within outlines to suggest three-dimensionality, shadow, or degrees of light and dark in a picture or drawing." That is to say, shading is when you use your pencil, marker, charcoal, paintbrush, etc. to make a drawing look like it's 3-D. When you shade, you apply your material more densely to indicate darker areas (a shadow, the back of an object) and more lightly/less densely to indicate lighter areas. Artists use many different strategies to shade their drawings: you can explore a few of them at this website, which provides a tutorial of methods such as blended shading and crosshatch shading. I would also check out this Enotes thread on shading, which explores the difference between shading and coloring. Good luck with your learning & exploration of drawing!

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