Practice: Terminator Studies

The Shading Course

Module 1 - How to Separate Light & Shadow

Practice: Terminator Studies

Mark as Completed

Practice: Terminator Studies

Mark as Completed


In this project, you'll draw different objects from life, looking specifically for the terminator.


  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Eraser
  • An object to draw

White or light objects with matte (not shiny) surfaces are ideal. Good examples are toilet paper rolls, eggs, garlic, paper cups, folded paper, etc. You can also cover any object with white paint and then draw it. 😀 For now, avoid shiny objects, such as glossy ceramic. Avoid complex objects unless you have plenty of time to draw.



  1. Set up your object and lighting, so you can clearly see the terminator. Direct sunlight usually works well. If you are indoors, make sure you only have one light source shining on your object.
  2. Sketch the object, emphasizing the terminator.
  3. Tone in the form shadow and cast shadow, each with a flat, unified tone.
  4. If you like, you can color the terminator in red and the cast shadow in blue.
  5. Take a photo of your object and your sketch and combine them into one image. (If you don't have Photoshop or similar, you can use


This project should take 30–60 minutes to complete.

Common Mistake: Rendering

Don't render/shade the drawing. Just focus on identifying the terminator.

Common Mistake: Breaking the Shadow Family

Keep the tonal value unified across both the form shadow and cast shadow areas.

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Former program director at Barcelona Academy of Art. Passionate about teaching craft and exploring the inner game of art.
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