Shading Techniques and Stroke Types Drawing Tutorial

This tutorial explains several different ways to apply strokes when shading. It can be applied to drawing with pencil, markers, pens and other mediums including digital drawing.

Pencil shading stroke types
Pencil shading stroke types

For a practical and very basic application of the first four examples of these strokes you can see:

Egg Step by Step Basic Shading Tutorial

One Directional Strokes

One direction stroke pencil shading strokes
One direction stroke pencil shading strokes

Straight one directional strokes are the most basic shading technique.

Crosshatch Shading

Crosshatch stroke pencil shading
Crosshatch stroke pencil shading

Crosshatching is a shading technique where stroke is applied in two directions with overlapping strokes and is probably the most commonly used shading style.

Curved Stroke Shading

One direction pencil shading strokes
One direction pencil shading strokes

Curved shading strokes are useful for shading objects with a curved surface where you want to emphasize the shape of the object.

Crosshatch Curved Stroke Shading

Curved crosshatch stroke pencil shading
Curved crosshatch stroke pencil shading

Similar to the non-overlapping curved strokes the curved crosshatch stroke can be used for shading drawings of curved objects. The advantage of curved crosshatch strokes is that they tend to look more natural.

Smooth Shading

Smooth pencil shading
Smooth pencil shading

Smooth or blended pencil shading can be useful in certain cases where you do not want there to be a visible pencil stroke.

Circular Stroke Shading

Circular stroke pencil shading
Circular stroke pencil shading

Circular stroke shading is less common but can still be very useful for certain effects (smoke for example).

Conclusion

This tutorial went over some of the more common stroke types and shading techniques but you can always experiment with more if you feel it’s appropriate for what you are drawing.

For more applications for these strokes see:

Drawing & Shading Basic 3d Shapes Tutorial