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Simple Techniques for Realistic Drawings
You Can Draw!
Simple Techniques for Realistic Drawings
Leonardo Pereznieto

I love drawing chrome because it can deliver truly amazing, jaw-dropping effects. It is a 
highly reflective surface and its look may vary notably depending on the surroundings and 
the environment it’s in. This reflective quality is a great effect for drawing because you can give the whole ambience and feel of an overall setting without actually drawing it, except in the reflection.
Chrome should have a high contrast of tones, with intense highlights and darks.

Please note that the following step-by-step illustrations are closer-up views that have been cropped slightly. The full-page image at the end of the sequence shows the complete drawing.

Posted by GMC Group Published See GMC Group's 300 projects » © 2019 Leonardo Pereznieto / GMC Publications · Reproduced with permission. · You Can Draw! by Leonardo Pereznieto, published by Sixth&Spring (£12.99, available from www.thegmcgroup.com)
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  • How to draw a 3D drawing. How To Draw A Chrome Sphere - Step 1
    Step 1

    Using a compass (or round object) and a mechanical pencil with 0.5 2H lead, draw a circle. Then draw a curved horizon line slightly above or below the center of the sphere. If your horizon line is above the center of the sphere, it should curve up, as shown; if it’s below the center of the sphere, it should curve down. Now sketch in the basic shapes of the surroundings that will be reflected in your sphere. In this example, I sketched some buildings and trees above the center/horizon line and a plaza with squares on the lower half. Note that the lines you draw on the left and right from center should curve left and right, respectively. The farther from the center (either up or down, or left or right from the center point of the sphere), the more all lines should curve.

  • How to draw a 3D drawing. How To Draw A Chrome Sphere - Step 2
    Step 2

    Draw the reflection of the trees with your Dark Green pencil along the upper border, across to the other side. You may want to do a row of trees along the horizon line going toward the center. For composition purposes, I like the green moving toward the center of the sphere.

  • How to draw a 3D drawing. How To Draw A Chrome Sphere - Step 3
    Step 3

    Using your Cloud Blue (a light blue) and Putty Beige pencils draw the tall buildings. Use the Light Umber for the short ones behind the trees. These buildings can be of different colors representing different materials, like glass (Cloud Blue) or concrete (Putty Beige).

  • How to draw a 3D drawing. How To Draw A Chrome Sphere - Step 4
    Step 4

    With the Primo Bianco Charcoal draw an intense White in an area of the sky as shown above. I recommend the Primo Bianco rather than the Prismacolor White for this effect because it is brighter and more intense. With the Light Cerulean Blue pencil, draw the sky around the white area you have just drawn. The Primo Bianco Charcoal will not hold on the waxy Prismacolor, so apply it first.
    Use the Dark Brown and Dark Umber to draw the trunks of the trees.

  • How to draw a 3D drawing. How To Draw A Chrome Sphere - Step 5
    Step 5

    Add a shaded area around the bottom of the sphere with your 50% French Grey pencil (a medium grey). 
This will be the base for both the shade and the light reflection in this area.

  • How to draw a 3D drawing. How To Draw A Chrome Sphere - Step 6
    Step 6

    With your Black pencil draw the darkest shade of the sphere on its lower part, but not on the very bottom since that area will reflect light bouncing off the floor.
    Of course you may modify your drawing as you go and create on it as it takes shape.
    I didn’t like the look of my original horizon line on the left and felt there was a missing element. So, I drew a short wall there, with a 70% Warm Grey. And on the opposite (right) side, I added some light reflections with the Cloud Blue and the White.
    With a 50% Warm Grey, go over the lowest part of the bottom of the sphere to render the reflected light bouncing off the floor.

  • How to draw a 3D drawing. How To Draw A Chrome Sphere - Step 7
    Step 7

    Add more detail as desired such as the windows of the buildings.
    In order to make the center part of the sphere come forward and stand out, you may want to tone down the left and right sides by applying some grey over the Black. This helps deliver the volume and 3D effect.
    Because the color pencils don’t smudge well because they are greasy, and because I wanted the cast shadow of the sphere to look blurred and soft, I used graphite pencils to draw it (the cast shadow).
    Use a mechanical pencil with an HB lead for the cast shadow areas close to the sphere (darker) and one with a 2H lead for the areas farther from it (lighter). Then, wrap a chamois around your index finger and smudge the graphite areas so they became very even and soft. Last, reinforce the area of the cast shadow by the sphere, with the Prismacolor Black pencil to really make the sphere standout.

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