Single line & drop shadow (drawing exercise) | Laura Kranz
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Single line & drop shadow (drawing exercise)

In this drawing idea, you’ll take a simple object as a reference, and make a really scribbly line drawing based on it. Then comes the interesting part: you’ll add a meticulous drop shadow to give it a 3D effect.

Your finished drawing might look something like this one I did of a simple key.

Step 1. Find your reference item

Find a small, relatively simple household object, like a tube of chapstick, a screwdriver, a thumb tack, a coin, etc.

Step 2. Choose your materials

Select a small piece of paper (I used a 5″x7″ piece). Get two markers—one in a darker color, one in a slightly lighter color. (You can also use one colored marker and a fine-tipped pen).

Step 3. Draw it with one line

Take one of your markers (it could be the dark or the light one; I used the lighter one in my drawing). Look at your reference object and do the best you can to draw it using only one single line.

Step 4. Refine it with a drop shadow

Now comes the part where the drawing begins to look pretty interesting. Take your alternative-colored pen and use it to create a drop shadow. You can do this by choosing between top & bottom, then choosing between left & right. In my drawing I chose bottom and left. I then added the shadow to the bottom and left sides of every line in my drawing.

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