Metal and Reflective surfaces - An introduction by William Li
By William Li
© 1998-2005 William Li, except where stated otherwise.
Although this article is meant as a tutorial, it can be used as a reference. It helps you learn a technique by giving you guidelines in a step by step manner (the How). As you progress in this tutorial, underlying principles of these guidelines are discussed in depth (the Why). However, I must say that understanding perspective is almost a prerequisite for this tutorial. See the index of the F.A.R.P. on this subject.
The most frequent referal to reflective surfaces is metal. Therefore I will focus on and speak of metal as the reflective material. Almost anything I discuss about metal is also true for other highly reflective materials. So if you're drawing some object that's reflective and is not made of metal, the information in this tutorial will still be useful!
I hope you enjoy!
Now, about this tutorial...
— Reflection and transparency: metal and glass. Mainly found together in our current vehicles.
The essence of metal is its highly reflective quality. (Can we be more obvious?)
If polished, you can see the surroundings reflected in it like a mirror. So drawing these reflections is the key to drawing metal. Doing this accurately is a painstaking and difficult process.
Fortunately there's a quick way to make fake reflections and still get good looking results. I'll discuss two methods in Chapter 1: a really fast one, and a less faster one which requires a bit understanding of reflection. The method is demonstrated step by step with hand-drawn examples.
But sometimes this faking method will not do, because the reflection plays an important role in your drawing or you just get lame results. In that case you should understand more about reflections. Chapter 2 describes the nature of reflections and elaborates on Chapter 1. Underlying principles are discussed and 3D imagery is used as reference.
Before you read Chapter 2, read Chapter 1 first. Chapter 1 just might be all you need.
I've had comments suggesting that drawing reflections as demonstrated in these tutorials would not be applicable to traditional media such as a pencil. Of course this is quite untrue. Any skilled artist in traditional media will acknowledge this. So, although the images in these tutorials were made digitally (except for the one on this page ;) ), the techniques are universally applicable.
If you have a good imagination of how light (rays) interacts with objects in our world, all this should be a breeze for you.
Here are the 2 chapters, each one with increasing depth. At all times I will tie the information to its usefulness in drawing. I will not go too deep into science :-)
1. Fast metal: the quick and dirty way.
2. Understanding and refining reflections: to reach the greater heights.
If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, don't hesitate to contact me. They're welcome!
|20 Feb 2009|| Mick Clark|
This is fantastic, I not only refer to it myself but send other here too
|16 Apr 2009|| Anon.|
thank you for your generosity now a days its hard to find someone who takes the time to give with such abundance
|21 Oct 2009|| Bersi|
Респект! Классный урок
|7 Nov 2009|| Anon.|
this is great!it makes you think metalworkings simple
|29 Jun 2010|| Tasha26|
|13 Feb 2011|| Anon.|
I was hoping for reflections on water and distance to be explained
|5 Jun 2011|| Mick Clark|
What’s happened to the Transparency chapter?
|23 Jul 2011|| Ugg Austalia|
zlj1 just wanted to comment your blog and say that I really enjoyed reading your blog post here. It was very informative and I also digg the way you write! Keep it up and I`ll be back to read more soon mate.http://www.uggsbootsaustralia.com/
|24 Nov 2011|| Anon.|
Hi!this tutorial of yours was very useful to me and my class in both english and science.
|24 Nov 2011|| Gayatri dua|
hi!!!! this site of yours was very informative and it helped me and my classmates in both english and science.
THANKYOU FOR SUCH A WONDERFUL SITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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