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Shading Skills

Hello Artists!


I have created some videos for you to all practise your shading skills, by beginning with simple objects. You may already feel confident with your shading skills, though it would still be good to experiment by drawing at least one basic object, for instance a shape (a purple rectangle, maybe). After you have practised your shading skills, try to apply your skills to a small object from your home.


You will need: 

  • Small 3D shapes ( geometry shapes, lego pieces, rubbers, a tennis ball, etc).
  • 3 Pencils (light, mid-shade, dark)
  • Paper


  1. When creating your shading artwork, you will need to place your object in front of you. 
  2. Think - what can you see? Where is the light sitting on the object? Are all the colours the same on the object?
  3. Choose 3 similar pencils, for instance if you were drawing a blue cube, you would need a light blue, a bright blue (mid-shade), and a dark blue pencil.
  4. Follow the videos below for steps.

Tips and tricks:

  • If there is a large spot of light on your object, shade around the edge of this area with less pressure. You can then come back to this area and use your lightest shaded pencil to slightly tickle the area, leaving most of the area white with speckles of the objects colour(s).
  • When an area on the object has less light, do not use a black pencil, use a darker colour similar to the pencil you are using. For example, you may use a bright red as your mid-shade colour, so you might want to choose a darker red, berry or brown colour for darker areas while shading.

Shading shapes

After you have practised your shading skills on a single-coloured shape, you may like to experiment with shading more complex objects.


I have created an example of shading an object with two colours in the video below. 


Try to find an object with a 1-3 colours on while you are still building your confidence and skills. I have chosen a Nintendo Switch controller to draw because it has two colours and shows different tones and shades. 


You will need:

  • Small 3D shapes with 1 or more colours (a remote, lego, a mug, a flipflop, etc).
  • Choose 3-6 Pencils, some light, mid-shade, dark.
  • Paper


  1. Place your object in front of you and create an outline of the object's outer edges. 
  2. Outline any details inside the object (buttons, stripes, bobbles, ridges etc).
  3. Choose 3-6 similar pencils, for instance two light reds, 2 bright reds (mid-shade), and 2 dark red pencils.
  4. Usually it is effective to begin colouring a solid block colour with one of your bright (mid-shade) colours, this is shown in the video below.
  5. You may leave areas of white, which you may decide to shade in with the lightest colour you have chosen. 
  6. In dark areas you may choose to use one of the darkest colours you have


Object shading (Nintendo Switch)

I hope you find shading an enjoyable activities and skill to learn, as well as challenging. If you are proud of any of your artwork, please send a picture of these to with the subject title 'Art Club with Miss Watson', this enables your emails to come straight to my attention. It would be really love to see your work and add to the art display on the web page.


Thank you so much for looking at this art activity. Please email if you have any queries or even suggestions - I am getting used to posting videos and online pages to communicate with the children and present some fun ideas, however as this is a new approach I am very welcoming to any constructive criticism adults and children may have to help improve this.


See your lovely artwork soon,


Miss Watson 👩🏻‍🎨🎨

Learning for life - to be the best we can possibly be