Analysis of Form – Rendering a Ball

Posted on 2011/12/23 at 00:23 by daarken 24 Comments

Foundations always begin with analysis of form. Analysis of form is usually just a fancy term for a still life drawing class. Learning how to render objects can teach you how to create form and to understand light and how it interacts with objects. The purpose of this tutorial isn’t to learn how to create a photorealistic ball, but to break down and understand the different parts to rendering an object, such as the core shadow, cast shadow, reflected light, and highlight.

24 Comments on "Analysis of Form – Rendering a Ball"

  1. evaxe · 2011/12/23 at 10:40 · Reply

    thanks for the vid. rendering spheres is a good simple way to practice blending.

  2. Sean McClain · 2011/12/23 at 13:46 · Reply

    Wow Daarken…you made drawing spheres look cool:O I am enliightened “again” by you.Thank you for this, I feel like I just skipped doing this a long time ago but now I can do some catching up.

  3. Method · 2011/12/23 at 15:46 · Reply

    Thx for the lesson, i started to learn drawing not in the best way, i made a mistake in my learning curve and completely missed the basics, 2 yrs ago when i got the tablet there were a lot of speed painting videos on youtube so I jumped directly into that by copying those styles and although i progressed i did it really slow, now i am combining everything with learning the basics of the shape and its rendering …and hopefully i will fill those gaps..thx again can’t wait for the upcoming lessons you got

  4. are · 2011/12/24 at 02:13 · Reply

    thanks but this kind of tutorial is done so much. maybe you can explain the effects different lighting angles and distance, different effects on different textures, transparent objects, etc.

    • daarken
      daarken · 2011/12/24 at 10:08 · Reply

      I’m sorry you feel this tutorial has been “done so much.” The reason is because it is important and not everyone realizes that you need to start with the basics. Thanks for the suggestions, but I already plan to cover those topics in future tutorials.

      • are · 2011/12/25 at 14:36 · Reply


  5. Johnny · 2011/12/24 at 02:43 · Reply

    Hey Daarken, I am thinking about attending art school (Savannah College of art and design) but I don’t have a lot of money. I am planning on just studying the foundation courses or any other courses that I need and then dropping out and do thing on my own. Can you recommend what classes are absolutely essential, or if I even need art school at all in the first place. Good video btw.

    • daarken
      daarken · 2011/12/24 at 10:15 · Reply

      Nope, you don’t need to go to art school. If you look at my FAQ I talk all about it. If you plan on only taking a few foundation classes, you should probably take figure drawing and analysis of form. I’m not sure what the school’s policy is on self enrichment courses, but you might not be able to take higher level classes due to prerequisites. A color theory class would also be good and some kind of intro to figure painting.

    • evaxe · 2011/12/25 at 11:56 · Reply

      i want to go to an art college to but don’t have a lot of money or it would take to long to save.

      im thinking about taking online foundation courses? single classes, , , guided courses

      • daarken
        daarken · 2011/12/25 at 12:07 · Reply

        Yeah, unfortunately art schools are expensive. Most people have to take out school loans in order to go to school and then they end up spending the next 20 years paying it off. Online classes are definitely an option. For me personally I would rather go to a class in person instead of online. I always felt that if I was going to stay at home and do online classes, I could always just buy cheap video tutorials instead. I’ve never taken any online classes, so I actually don’t know how good they are or if they are worth it. If you ever take any, let me know!

        • CKMoore · 2011/12/31 at 13:26 · Reply

          Community college classes could be a good option to learn the foundations – very inexpensive and there can be some pretty good artist teachers. Even the average art teachers can teach you the foundations, but you might get lucky and have a true pro teaching the class.

          • daarken
            daarken · 2011/12/31 at 15:03 ·

            I would really make sure to do a lot of research on the programs they offer and the teachers first. I am very weary of any state or community college. Most of their programs are horrible. I went to a state school for art and it was a joke. I was only there for a semester before I left and went to the Academy of Art University. I am sure there are some good ones, but you just need to find them first before you spend money on classes that might not teach you anything. I felt all of my classes at CSUS (California State University Sacramento) were pretty much worthless.

  6. Artem · 2011/12/25 at 01:23 · Reply

    Nice tutorial for beginners. I have one question: When render human body, better to divide parts of body on spherical forms or more planar (closer cubic)? I hear one advice to divide all objects on spheroids.
    P.S.Sorry for my bad English.

    • daarken
      daarken · 2011/12/25 at 04:02 · Reply

      I actually like to use a more planar approach. Usually when you use more straight edges things tend to look a bit better, at least in my opinion. Think of it in terms of the approach of Bridgman and Hogarth. Bridgman had a much more angular planar approach while Hogarth had a more bubbly spherical approach. Both are good, but I just happen to like the angular style more.

  7. Ruben · 2011/12/25 at 20:58 · Reply

    Thanks a lot for these tutorial videos. I know subjects like this can seem mundane or pointless, but the foundational information is important. Thanks again, daarken.

  8. Judy · 2011/12/27 at 03:53 · Reply

    See this is one more reason to start from the foundation, I have been drawing sphere many times but i didn’t know when the light hits the sphere, the different tone it comes out. Now I memorize the names and where they belongs once light hits the sphere. Thanks a lot Daarken, so so many thanks!!!!

  9. Jarrett · 2011/12/28 at 23:39 · Reply

    on the topic of rendering.. my one of my main downfalls with digital, i feel, (besides my values being so shiat. lol) i paint everyhing the same way, i know i do it and i hate it(and i know its a problem a lot of begginers face).. i can do studies, cool, they look like what i was painting. but then when i get to painting a full picture.. everything becomes matte plastic.. any advice on what to do?

    • daarken
      daarken · 2011/12/29 at 11:45 · Reply

      Yeah, I think that is another one of those things that just comes with practice. Maybe you can try using some different brushes or even some texture overlays to help you. I wouldn’t use texture overlays as a final touch, but rather use them and then paint on top of them.

      • Jarrett · 2011/12/30 at 10:26 · Reply

        haha i cringed when you said texture overlay.. ive tried it as a final touch – and im not a fan, its creating and fake, ive never thought of doing it near the middle. cool trick, cos then you still get the authenticity hand painting :) thanks

  10. mardep · 2012/01/06 at 04:53 · Reply

    I’m somewhat new to photoshop and just wanted to know what settings does the brush that your using have? Consider you have both opacity and flow to 100%, transfer and pen pressure?

    thx for a good tutorial!

  11. bh777 · 2012/02/06 at 08:47 · Reply

    Hi, i’m new to digital art. I can render the ball fairly well, but when it comes to the shadow beneath the ball I struggle. In the video you create the shadow in a couple of strokes and the colors blend together nicely.

    When I try each stroke is clearly visible in terms of the shape of the brush and it takes a long time to blend the colors together manually, any tips?

    • daarken
      daarken · 2012/02/06 at 09:22 · Reply

      Hmm, you can always try adjusting the pen pressure levels through the Wacom control panel.

      • bh777 · 2012/02/06 at 10:08 · Reply

        Of course, thanks. I changed some of the setting and it seems to be much smoother.

        Thanks for the speedy response!

  12. bunleng iep · 2012/09/25 at 22:00 · Reply

    Hi man , could you do material study , like water , glossy, matt , ice , fire study . it’s will be useful for the students.

Leave a comment to CKMoore

× 8 = sixty four