Shading by Sam Alfano

Sam

Chief Administrator & Benevolent Dictator
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Covington, Louisiana
View attachment 37153

View attachment 37154

This was a leaf script lesson from today and the shading technique used here might be of interest to some members.

Especially in the closeup view of the center section of the letter...note that the length of the shading lines varies in a random way. By doing this, a more natural looking feathered edge is possible which creates a softer highlight. If the lines were all the same length, the edge of the shading becomes harder. Sometimes you want that, but in this case varying the length produces the best result.

In other areas you'll see that keeping some strategically placed whitespace adds shape and volume to the leaves.

This was cut with a 120° graver.

Images ©Copyright 2016 Sam Alfano All Rights Reserved
 

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Sam

Chief Administrator & Benevolent Dictator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
10,356
Location
Covington, Louisiana
I don't do any special adjustments when shading. It's the same graver, same handpiece, same settings, etc. It does require a lot of practice to develop the necessary control for fine lines, and I think the finger-on-the-top users struggle more than those who use a traditional grip because it causes more downward pressure on the graver.

View attachment 37157

I did this around 1989 and it's shaded by hand pushing, so you also have that option if the handpiece isn't getting the results you're after. I should add that this is a perfect example of over-shading. Way too many lines.
 

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Joined
Oct 3, 2018
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Hey Sam I've been thinking a lot about my shading lately as I do tend to over shade. It looks good (or is looking better.... Haha) but I am working on not over doing it. I'm curious about your thoughts on this. So for example on your "over shaded" piece here. If you were to shade this same piece again with a normal shading treatment would you thicken the lines up and obviously use less lines. Or would you keep about the same shading line width as the original but just use less lines? I know there isn't a right or wrong answer to this as both would likely look nice done correctly but do you tend to prefer one or the other for any reasons? Thanks in advance, I appreciate anything you have to offer on the subject.

-Tom F.
 

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