Adding Shadows To Your Calligraphy & Lettering
(Part 2 – The Double Shadow)
I have already chatted about how to add a basic drop shadow to your calligraphy & lettering, but now it’s time to take it one step further and make a double shadow. This is a shadow that has a darker edge around the letter as well as a regular grey shadow. It’s pretty simple once you get started and it gives your artwork a lovely edge while adding depth. Ready to get started? Grab your supplies and let’s go through it step by step.
What You Need to Add the Double Shadow To Your Calligraphy & Lettering
You will only need a few types of supplies to create this type of shadow:
Pens in 3 Colours
You will need a lighter coloured pen to create the base letter, a darker coloured pen to create the 1st shadow, and then a grey pen for the 2nd shadow. Once you get the hang of this shadow you will be able to mix and match the colours as you like to suit your style.
Side note: these do not need to be brush pens! If you are more of a modern calligrapher by trade then feel free to use brush pens and grab the 3 colours you like in any brand of pen. If you are more of a letterer then grab whatever you like to create this effect: pens, pencils, paints, markers. Whatever is your favourite tools will be fine, as long as you have three different colours.
Pencil & Eraser
Creating shadows, in general, is more of a hand-lettering skill, but so often modern calligraphers move into the hand-lettering genre and give their calligraphy extra pizzazz with shadows. If you are a calligrapher or a letterer, it’s a great idea to add a pencil and an eraser to your list of supplies so that you can sketch out your shadows and plan it properly. I recommend a 2H pencil because I find they are the easiest to erase, and a soft eraser should do the trick. Now you’re all set to create the shadow!
How To Create The Double Shadow for Your Lettering & Calligraphy
Step 1: Draw the word
Alrighty, so the first thing you will need to do is grab the lighter coloured pen or pencil (or whatever tool you have chosen) and create your base word. For my example, I have chosen the simple word “yes”.
Step 2: Pick Your Light Source and Sketch the Direction
Pick where your light source is coming from so that you know what direction all your shadows will be. I’m going to be having the light source in the top left corner, which means the shadows will be heading towards the bottom right corner from the letters.
Now that you know the light source, use your pencil to sketch out the direction for the outline of the first shadow. This will also help create the guidelines for the second shadow.
Draw from every corner and edge in the same direction, throughout the whole word.
Step 3: Sketch the outline of your first shadow.
Draw the outline of the shadow, following the curves of the letters, and using your guidelines to know where to start and stop your shadow.
Step 4: Colour In Your First Shadow
Once you have the sketch then you can fill it in with your darker coloured pen or lettering tools.
Step 5: Sketch the second, grey shadow.
Following the same direction and using the same guidelines, sketch out the outlines for the grey shadow even further away from the original word. Once again, follow along with the curves of the letters.
Step 6: Colour In Your Lighter Grey Shadow
Once you have the outline, fill it in with your grey pen.
Step 7: Erase Your Pencil
All you have to do now is erase the pencil marks but make sure you leave enough time for the ink to dry so that you don’t smudge anything! Often I give it 15 to 20 minutes to be safe. If you are extra nervous, come back the next day to erase.
Grab The FREE Shadow Worksheets!
And now you’re done! You have created your double shadow. Once you get the hang of this you can mix it up with colours and styles to suit your own style. One way of practising is by grabbing the worksheets from the free resource library which has a cheat sheet of the steps and space for you to practice.
If you’re new here then you are probably wondering how to get your hands on the cheat sheets and freebies.
I am just going to let you know that they are available in our resource library which has been created specifically for creative legends to practice calligraphy, lettering and awesomeness. We have worksheets on your basic strokes, connecting letters, flourishing, and loads more and it’s all yours for free because I want you to feel free to explore your creativity in calligraphy.
One important thing to mention: The resource library is password protected and it’s super-secret! Well, it’s not that secret. All you need to do is pop your details in below and the password will be sent straight to your inbox. It’s as easy as that!
Sign Up For The Password To The Resource Library
Don’t forget to PIN this tutorial to find it easily later: