Practice: The Perfect Egg
Practice: The Perfect Egg
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The Shading Course

Module 5 - How to Create Realistic Shading

Practice: The Perfect Egg


Practice: The Perfect Egg



Are you ready to create the most realistic drawing you've ever made?! 🤩
In this project, you'll draw or paint an egg using everything you've learned so far.


You can draw or paint the egg digitally or traditionally. Choose the medium you are most comfortable with.
If you work from a photo, you need one of the reference images in the downloads tab.

If you work from life, you need:

  • An egg
  • A light source
  • A shadow box (optional)
  • An easel (ideal) or a drawing board


This project should take 2–6 hours to complete.☝️ Warning: depending on the medium you select, you might need several days to complete your drawing. Choose your medium wisely. Make sure your setup will not be changed! If you are concerned about maintaining your physical egg still-life setup intact, work from a photograph. But if you can, work directly from life.

Reference Images

You can set up your own egg, or use one of the reference images provided in the downloads tab.

Setup Steps

1) Download Reference Photo or Set Up Your Egg Still Life

If you can, draw from life for this assignment. Make sure your setup is stable and will not be changed accidentally by you or other people while you work on this project. If a physical setup is not possible, work from a photograph. You can take your own reference photo or use one of the options provided.

Drawing Steps

1) Line Block-In

Create a block-in, capturing the proportions accurately with light lines.

2) Notan Block-In

Fill the shadow family with one flat tone. Keep it light enough to erase without a trace and dark enough to see the shadow shapes clearly.

3) Value Grouping

Create a small value study to identify the correct tonal relationships between the main value groups in your image. Then add the value groups to your drawing.

5) Rendering

Render the light family first, adding the dark halftones, then light halftones and specular reflection. Then work in the shadow family, adding the core shadow, reflected light, and occlusion shadows.

6) Finishing Touches

Add the penumbra and any finishing touches like refining the tones further with island hunting. You can push the effect of light a bit by subtly darkening the background against the form light area.

Basic Demonstration

I do a demonstration of an egg in this video. I just show the beginning stages here, but I hope it's still helpful to see. Jump to 9:55 to see the demo:

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Share your progress

This is an intense project. Share your progress with us as you go!

Submit your assignments here
Drop images here to attach them to the message
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About instructor
Former program director at Barcelona Academy of Art. Passionate about teaching craft and exploring the inner game of art.
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