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How to Draw Metal Objects

How to Draw Metal Objects

Many objects have a certain sheen or glossy, chrome finish. In order to complete the illusion in a drawing, you need to understand the concepts of rendering metal/reflection/lighting in your work.

With a little bit of practice, you can draw any type of glossy or shiny object and make it look like it’s jumping off the page.


What you’ll need:

As with any drawing, you will need to start with a basic outline of your object. For this article, I’ve chosen a spoon. A spoon is a simple object everyone is familiar with, and they are usually glossy so it is a good object to practice drawing metal with.

After you have your outline finished, you will need to outline the highlights, shadows, and reflection/refractions in the spoon. This is the most tricky part of the entire process. To create the illusion of metal, you will need to focus all your attention on drawing the reflections on the object EXACTLY as you see them. It also helps to have an understanding of how light behaves on shiny objects. For instance with the spoon, the reflections are going to contour to the shape of the spoon. With most drawings, you use shading to create volume in an object, but with something as shiny as this, there is no shading, because all the light bounces off of the surface. Therefore you will need to perfectly re-create the reflections in the spoon to give it shape and volume.

After you have the shape, and outlines of the reflections in your object/spoon drawn, you can now fill them in with values. What makes metal look so shiny, is the contrast that it shows,(i.e. very light colors next to very dark colors, and crisp clean lines). When shading in the reflections, use the cleanest lines that you can to complete the illusion. Hopefully after a little finishing, and fine-tuning, you can get your drawing to look fairly realistic. Good luck!

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