Drawing & Shading Ribbons
& DIRECTIONAL SHADING
When drawing a ribbon, keep your outlines very light. The drawings below show darker outlines only to better help you understand the step-by-step process. If you darken your lines too much at the beginning, you will not be able to make them disappear when you start shading. When you are finished, you must have NO outlines left!
STEP 1: Draw the first line and make it curve in different directions.
STEP 2: Draw a second curvy line alongside the first one:
A. start by making it parallel to the first one…
B. then narrow the distance between them, to let the second line intersect the first line in the area where there is a major change in direction (a big curve.)
C. after intersecting them, continue drawing the second line, making the two lines parallel again.
D. do the same thing again when you come near another major curve.
STEP 3: Add a new line by connecting the two lines near every intersecting area…
…by drawing a a short curved line that curves smoothly and gradually into both lines. It should look like it’s a natural part of both lines.
STEP 4: erase only ONE of the two inside lines that make up the X (the red OR the blue one.)
Remember to keep your outlines very light. These illustrations show darker outlines only to better help you understand the step-by-step process.
A. Start shading by darkening the INSIDE corners of each twist (under the twist.)
B. Keep in mind as you add more shading, that a white area should be reserved in the middle of each section.
C. Darken the end of each section up to 100% if it is below the twist, gradually lightening towards the white area in the middle of the section.
D. Darken the end of each section only to 50% grey if it is above the twist, gradually lightening towards the white area in the middle of the section.
E. Shade GRADUALLY from dark to light, IN THE DIRECTION of the ribbon’s curve.
As you shade, your outlines should be light enough to erase easily, or fade away and disappear into your shading. Your final drawing should look like this: