Shading Techniques for Beginners – Using Driftwood As My Subject

Shading Techniques for Beginners – Using Driftwood As My Subject


I used a piece of driftwood my in-laws have in their home as one of my subjects. At first the thought of shading in all of those textures seemed impossible.

It certainly took a lot of time, but WOW did I get into it!

I’m just a novice at drawing. I won’t even try to say that I know the art well. I just have fun.

Shading “depth”


Getting the underside

I had to learn how to make the crevices in the wood seem deep.

I kept trying to draw an outline and color it in. It just didn’t look right! I got out my “how to” books and practiced different methods. I found that it was better just to darken the area with small strokes.

I also learned that I had to leave just a hair of white to give the appearance of the underside of a limb. It was almost like I was drawing the opposite of what seemed obvious. I always thought the undersides would be dark, not light!



My knot

It is so fun to draw knots in the wood. Talk about no right or wrong!  The driftwood had some natural knots. Mine don’t match the actual knots. I tried to come close, but I really enjoyed letting my drawing dictate how mine would look.



The broken edge


The broken edge

I’m not sure I am happy yet with this edge. It doesn’t have the whole that I saw in the real piece. I just never did get it to look the way I wanted.

Oh well, in time I may figure it out.

For right now, the picture is hanging on their wall with the edge.



The little branches


The little branches

It was harder than I thought to make the end of a stick!

Some of my ends looked too pointy. Some looked like a drawn line instead of 3-D.

I need more practice, but it’s a start.


Fun adventure!

I have to say, the driftwood turned out better than I ever imagined I would be able to do. It’s far from perfect. Although, I hope my drawings are never “perfect”. Where would the fun be in that?


More adventures await!

Click here to see more of my drawings!

Click here to see my cancer survivor website


Blessings to all! – Tina


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  1. Stella

    Nice work on this website! I love your drawings. I like to draw too, but I don’t make enough time for it. I really should. You have reminded me of how relaxing it its! 🙂

    1. Tina DeYoung (Post author)

      Hi Stella. Grab that sketch book and pencil and take a few minutes to enjoy. That’s one of the great things about drawing, you can set it down and come back to it later. (Of course if you are like me, sometimes I get started and then I get lost in my drawing longer than I intended).



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