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Importance of Highlights and Shadows || Art & Craft TALKS

Hi there, guys! We all love Sketching and the Importance of Highlights and Shadows are immense in this subject. Hence, in this blog by Art & Craft TALKS, we're going to discuss the same and hope, hope you like this Blog. Do LIKE & SHARE with your friends...

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Importance of Highlights and Shadows || Art & Craft TALKS


Highlights are the brightest surface area of the sketch which reflects the incoming/incident light most efficiently. Also, the texture of the object defines the shape of the highlights.
For example, if the surface of the object is smooth, then the highlights are bright and intense. Similarly, if the texture is rough, then highlights look diffused.

Highlights & Shadows

Shadows are the darkest surface area of the sketch. It can have sharp or smooth edges which depend on the surface of the object and the intensity of light.
In general, shadows are of two types: Cast Shadow and form shadow.
cast shadow is formed when an object blocks the source of the light, whereas a form shadow represents a less dark side of the object.


Midtones are midway between Highlights and Shadows. The color shown by Midtones is often referred to as the real color of the object.


How to use Shadows and Highlights in art

The light source plays a key role in determining the direction of the shadows. So it's important to check whether the light source should not be on the same side as the shadow. If it does then, change the position and sketch.

Also, the artwork will vary depending on how high or low is the light source. Either way, the principles remain the same.

Now let’s have a look at some examples of highlights and shadows.


Examples of Highlights and Shadows

The example below depicts the various areas of the surface.  

Examples of Highlights and Shadows


Importance of Highlight and Shadows in Sketching Industry

The highlights and shadows take your artworks to another level. They provide uniqueness to the art and illustrate its inner beauty. With the effective use of a source of light, one can easily see the turnaround in the beauty of the artwork.

The use of shadows and highlights improves the quality of the artwork but requires certain techniques to follow, they are:

  • Hatching
  • Cross Hatching
  • Circular



There is no doubt about the saying that shadows and highlights give phenomenal results when applied to an artwork. However, one must acknowledge the need for the placement of a good light source in a particular direction. The direction of the light source gives the correct order of highlights and shadows of the object.


Nowadays, these techniques have found a home in various other forms of artwork like paintings and photography. With everything becoming more and more digital, the world of sketching has also been digitalized, with the use of pen-tablet, which will be covered in some other Article.      

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