Beginning Drawing Lesson 10 – Shaded Colored Pencil Drawing

colored pencils

(Click HERE to download this lesson  for printing)


[NOTE: This Lesson will take two weeks complete as it takes quite a bit of time to complete a fully shaded colored pencil drawing]

The Element of Space

Before we get to the assignment for today, let’s look at the final element of the visual arts: SPACE.

The definition of space in art would be this… An element of art that refers to the distance or area between, around, above, below, or within things.

Space can be used to balance your artwork… a smaller object or shape can be balanced with a larger one by the distance or space between the two.

Space can be used to show emphasis in your artwork… a single object can be overwhelmed by a vast amount of white space around it…

Space can also be used to show depth in your artwork.

Here are some examples of showing depth by using space…

Overlapping  – Objects can be overlapped to show space… the closer object overlaps the one further away…

Placement on the paper – Objects placed higher within the picture plane will appear further away.

Size – Objects that are smaller will appear further away from the viewer.

Detail – More detail will be shown in objects closer to the viewer

Color and Value – Objects that are further away are cooler in color temperature, while objects that are closer are warmer.  Objects that are further away are lighter in value, while objects that are closer are typically darker in value.

 Perspective – Linear perspective is a drawing method that uses lines to create the illusion of space on a flat surface.  There are three types of linear perspective.  Two are displayed on this page.

One point perspective uses one vanishing point to accomplish this illusion.  The object is parallel to the viewer.

Two point perspective uses two vanishing points to create the illusion of space. The object is set at an angle to the viewer.

More Terms

Space – element of art, refers to the emptiness or area between, around, above, below, or within objects

Positive Space – the shapes or forms of interest

Negative Space – the empty space between the shapes or forms

3-D Space can be defined as the space over, under, through, behind, and around a form.  Architecture, sculpture, weaving, ceramics, and jewelry are three-dimensional art forms

2-D space can best be described as an illusion.  We perceive depth by creating an illusion of 3-D space on a 2-D surface.

Point of view – refers to the angle at which you view an object.

Illusion of form – is manifested by creating an image with a range of value.  By accurately placing highlights and shadows an artist can create the illusion of form.

Illusion of depth – is manifested through the use of several factors:

  • Perspective – a graphic system that creates the illusion of depth and volume on a two-dimensional surface.
  • Overlapping – when one object covers part of a second object, the first seems to be closer to the viewer.
  • Size – Larger objects appear to be closer to the viewer than smaller objects
    Placement- Objects placed low on the picture plane seem to be closer to the viewer than objects placed near eye level
  • Detail – objects with clear, sharp edges and visible details seem to be close to the viewer.  Objects that are less detailed seem further away
  • Color – Brightly colored objects seem closer to you, and objects with dull, light colors seem to be further away



The assignment for this week is to complete a shaded colored pencil drawing. Your drawing may be completed on white or colored drawing paper.

First,  sketch your drawing on a plain sheet of white, light weight paper… like copy paper.  Why?  You don’t want a lot of the “erasing” marks or “indentations” in the paper caused by making corrections as you work out your basic shapes sketch.  Draw large… fill your paper.

After you have laid out your basic drawing and you have it just as you want it, you will transfer your sketch to the final drawing sheet.


Transferring Your Sketch

After your basic sketch is ready, turn your paper over and cover the back of the paper with graphite.

Next, center your sketch on your final sheet of drawing paper… be careful NOT to slide it around much as the graphite will “smear” all over your clean sheet of drawing paper.

Using a hard lead pencil (2H or higher) trace over your sketch lines… be sure not to miss any.  If you want you can use a little “blue” masking tape to secure it to the table.


Complete Your Drawing

Begin shading your drawing with colored pencils by working from light to dark.  If you get an area too dark, it is very hard to lighten…  but light areas can always be darkened.

Focus on using value to develop form just as you did with the shaded pencil drawing… but this time you are using color as well. Lighter values are made by shading lightly… darker shades by shading darkly or adding black.

Your colored pencil drawing can be done in full color, or in monochromatic… different shades of only one color.

You can use other color schemes… opposites, neighboring, or a triad.

Remember the color wheel?  How did you create lowered intensity in your colors?  By adding its opposite, right?

You can create different color textures as well.


Have fun with your drawing!