Learning how to shade drawings
takes some patience and practice (and yes, that is a human nose to the left for practice).
There is the physical part....learning how to make strokes on the page itself, the pressure to apply and the tools to use.
More importantly, is knowing when to shade (see pencil shading) and how to 'see' light in your drawings.
Understanding what light does when it strikes and object you are drawing.
Let's start with the physical aspect....the control of the pencil movement itself.
There are multiple ways to actually hold a pencil when writing, drawing, etc. the way you hold your pencil makes a big difference in the way you are able to shade your drawings. In fact it's the very first step in learning how to shad drawings, period.
In the simplest sense, pencil shading is nothing more than covering an area of the paper with graphite or some other common drawing medium like charcoal....generally to give the illusion in your drawing that there is a shadow on the page or a dark color fill somewhere on the paper.
Children understand the concept easily of 'filling' in a section of paper with crayon or pencil to create a solid area of dark color.
However, a pencil can be used in one of two ways when shading....understanding this and experimenting with both is a big key to successful results when learning how to shade. Drawings almost always consist of shading in some form!
Hold a sharpened pencil....see the point? That's probably the part of the pencil that many beginners use to shade, but there is another 'softer' and more effective way to shade.
When you start to move a pencil from side to side, simply turn the pencil slightly (at a more severe angel to expose more of the lead point, but not too much!) on its side and use the 'side' of the lead point. This will put more lead on the paper at contact, providing for a more generous, softer stroke.
As the strokes mount side by side, you should see a 'wall' of graphite building on your page and at the same time, this technique should help avoid those harsh 'lines' that the very point of a pencil can create.
Once you learn how to hold your pencil and apply pressure using the side of the lead rather than the point, it's time to explore the various elements of pencil shading.