Toad Hollow Studio's Drawing Tutorials And Classes by Carol Rosinski

Draw a Shiny Ornament in Six Steps

onament step oneStep 1

Shiny ornaments are challenging to draw because of all the reflections.

To keep things simple, I chose a round, gold colored ornament. I placed it in lighting that cast one clear shadow, got comfortable, and started to draw.

Using a B pencil, I drew a circle and added a cap.

ornament step twoStep 2

Next I added the hook and the shape of the shadow the ornament was casting.

To help myself draw those lines in their right positions, I didn't really draw them, I drew the negative spaces between them and the ornament. For instance, while drawing the hook I paid more attention to capturing the shape between it and the ornament than to the hook itself.

Step 3

ornament step threeThen I drew in the shapes of the largest and most clearly defined shadows and highlights.

I saw three major shapes on the ornament and two on its cap. Each of these areas had many more reflections, shadows, and highlights within them but I looked for and drew the largest and most obvious shapes.

ornament step fourStep 4

Still using the B pencil, I hatched in each area of the ornament and its cast shadow.

I made the hatching in each area a value that was between the darkest and lightest values I could see there.

ornament step fiveStep 5

Switching to the 2B, I hatched in the darkest values of each area like this:

  • On the top of the ornament, the edges were the darkest part and that dark value graduated to a lighter one near the center top. There were some dark reflections in this area that I hatched in, too.

  • The middle section was darker near the edges, too, and graduated to a lighter value near the middle. I added the reflection of the hook, curving it a little to make follow the form of the ball.

  • The bottom of the ornament was darkest near the edges, too.

  • The cap had some very dark areas on both sides, down the middle, and where it met the ball.

  • The shadow cast by the ornament was darkest near the ball's bottom edge. There was a secondary shadow between the ball and the cap that I hatched in. I darkened the hook and added a cast shadow underneath it.

ornament step sixStep 6

To finish the shiny ornament, I added the highlight details as follows:

  • I used a kneaded eraser pinched into a point to lift out the next to the brightest highlights on the ornament's top. Then I used my battery powered eraser to lift out the brightest highlights. Because erasers aren't very exact, I used a sharp pencil to reshape the highlights.

  • I used my kneaded eraser to gently lift a soft highlight in the middle section of the ornament on the left side.

  • I used my battery powered eraser to tap out the little highlight reflections in the cap and added a thin loop at the top, too. I reshaped all those details with a sharp pencil and added a little value to them if they were too light.

Here are the supplies you'll need for this lesson.
  • Drawing Pencils - B and 2B
  • Drawing Paper marked "smooth."
  • Kneaded Rubber Eraser
  • Battery-Operated Eraser
    • Battery-Operated Eraser Refills- If you've never used a battery powered eraser, you'll go through the eraser refills pretty quickly.

Carol Rosinski
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Drawing Made Easy, Getting Started by Carol Rosinski
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Toad Hollow Studio - Teaching how to draw since 1999