Finally getting real! Shading and blurring

At this point, I was already beginning to get a bit bored of our subject matter. It was bad enough that we were being forced to go back to the time before God invented color, but did we need to go back to when the world was flat as well? Especially because the assignment during the next class was to paint Dopey’s cousin, Pointy Dopey:



Luckily for us, however, before long we would finally be given the keys to the castle: shading!

Will I sound silly if I tell you just how excited I was for this assignment?

First Jim gave us a demonstration. Apparently there was more to it than simply smearing your paint together.

Careful, don’t cut yourself!

To soften an edge (for example, the edge of, say, a box) you first create your adjoining areas of color. (At this point, Jim began a story of his sister going to a sock hop — he must be older than I thought! — and his mother creating a dress for her out of two adjoining areas of fabric.)

Then you use a smaller brush to paint lines connecting the two areas. These could be one of the two colors or an intermediary color. (In the story — you guessed it — the lines were the thread.)


Finally, you take a large, clean, flat brush and brush over the two lines, wiping off your brush after each stroke. (I’m not sure how this fit into the story — it might’ve broken down a bit at that point.)

Then you go back and add sharpness where needed — and back and forth, back and forth until you’re satisfied.

The difficult part of this assignment, though, was not the blurring (although that was harder than I expected once I tried it) — it was those dang angles! It seemed like every time I’d fiddle with the background shading, I’d shave off a bit of an angle here and there until the entire thing began to look quite Seussian. I’d been very careful in the drawing stage to use my brush as an “angle machine,” so it was pretty frustrating to see all that work go down the poop chute — plus I now needed to create them anew sans grid!

The finished product:

Could you please move those boxes out of my wa—What!? They’re paint?

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