I know a lot of artists. A surprising number (or maybe a not at all surprising number) of my friends are artists.
One of them is Mike. I chose to write about Mike not because of the quality of his artwork (and it is incredible), but because he’s taught me and had a direct, observable influence on my artwork.
For a long time, proper shading was something of a mystery for me. I could shade simple shapes with varying degrees of convincingness, but anything more complex resulted in strange shading that was, to say the least, confused.
Then I saw Mike’s artwork. And among all the incredible things about his work, the two things that really struck me were his apparent mastery of texture and shading. So I went to him with one of his drawings and I asked “Can you teach me to do this?”.
He was a great sport about it. He sat me down, and we started out with a basic sphere. He showed me the basics, and where and how to add reflected light, cast shadows… then he gave me homework. He had me shade a series of spheres and other shapes.
And, following his advice, the results were more believable than anything I’d ever shaded before. I had the impression that I could reach into the page and pull out the marble I’d just drawn. And while I’ve since adapted those techniques ever so slightly for my own preferences, just about everything I shade these days shows his influence, and whether anyone else could recognize it or not, I still see it there. So thanks, Mike. By the way, got time to show me textures one of these days?
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Niki: Sometimes I Write