header header header
japanese french germany italy spain america

add button
Bookmark this site!

Shading Variations
To me, shading is the most enjoyable part of an engraving project. It's the time when an engraver breathes life into his or her designs. Without shading, scrolls and leaves are flat and lifeless. This tutorial shows examples of shading variations and encourages you to try new and different treatments. Don't be afraid to mix 'em up. Sometimes the subtle differences and variations can really spice up an engraving job.
The photo above shows three identical leaf shapes with a different approach to shading on each one.
Actual size leaves are approximately 1/4" (6.35mm) tall.
The first example shows long, flowing shade cuts which follow the growth and flow of the leaf. The tips of the leaves have been left unshaded, and note how the shading is cut around the teardrop to create the illusion of a rasied portion of the leaf. In this example lines are cut on each side of the teardrop with shade lines cut to meet them.
In the example above, the teardrop is not outlined as in the previous example, but has delicate shade lines that terminate just to its outside. The effect is subtle and not quite as strong as the first example. Both examples are quite effective, but this version require a lighter touch. The tips of the leaves are also shaded with lines cut in the opposite direction (from the bottom up). To do this, I shade the leaf normally as in the first example (cutting thin-to-thick from the top to the bottom), then place the graver into each shade line and back-cut in the direction of the leaf tip. Usually the spacing is a bit too great, so I'll place another cut between each of the first set of cuts. Close examination shows the leaf tip shade cuts to be blunt on one end. This is done by popping the graver out as it approaches the end of the cut. Time consuming? Yes!
The last example shows a similar leaf tip treatment as the previous example, with the addition of more leaves and fold-overs added. By varying the types of shading and adding a fold-over or new leaf segment here and there, you can really add interest and beauty to your work. the end