Shading in Figurative Drawing

Creating Substance, Light and Relief with Hatching


Learn to create a powerful and expressive impression of form and relief with hatching, in the manner of the Renaissance masters in these six live, online classes.

Six Tuesdays from 11 March 2025 – 15 April 2025, 11:00 AM – 13:00 PM UK / 06:00 – 08:00 AM NY


Learn and apply the hatching technique of the Renaissance masters to create a vivid and striking sense of sense of substance, light and relief in your drawings. These six live, online classes show you how the master draughtsmen of the Renaissance used hatching to shade and build up their drawings with subtlety in layers of line and tone. By seeing how Renaissance artists used hatching so effectively and understanding their process, you learn to shade your drawings confidently and model forms effectively. You will learn to use tone to enhance your understanding of the forms you are representing by illuminating the substance of the physical subject within the outer design. On this course you will lean to apply tone to both the human head and the figure using pencil or silverpoint, chalk and pen and ink.

You Will Learn:

  • How Renaissance artists applied hatching with dry and wet media
  • Leonardo da Vinci’s parallel hatching technique
  • To distinguish between grades of tone and apply them effectively in layers
  • How to create a sense of volume, light and relief with tone
  • How hatching can be used early in the drawing and throughout to completion
  • The relationship between substance and form in Renaissance drawing

Course Structure

Class 1 – The First Layer of Hatching: distinguishing the lights

Class 2 – How Leonardo Shaded the Face: hatching to model the design

Class 3 – Modelling the Mass: distinguishing the darks

Class 4 – Shading the Body: distinguishing and defining the parts

Class 5 – Modelling the Dynamic: enhancing tension and movement

Class 6 – Enhancing the Design: accenting the darks


This course is accessible to any artist but it is recommended that you have completed at least one course from Discover Renaissance Drawing or a course from the portrait or figure drawing categories before enrolling on this course.

You Will Need:

Pencils (F, HB) or a Silverpoint Stylus (with paper prepared for silverpoint or a boxwood tablet)

White or off-white paper

Start Date

Tuesdays 11 March 2025 – 15 April 2025, 11:00 AM – 13:00 PM UK / 06:00 – 08:00 AM NY

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