Drawing is the backbone of almost every art discipline and a fundamental form of communication. This makes the ability to translate what the eye sees onto paper a valuable skill for all artists.
Before one can toss aside convention and explore the abstract and the fantastic the original form and realistic representation must be understood. Observational drawing is the way to exercise the connection between what the eyes see and what ends up on paper or canvas. It requires focus as well as attention to detail and the ability to find relationships.The relationship of one object to another and the relationship of those objects in space.
The practice of observational drawing will improve concentration, drawing skill and your overall ability to see the world around you.
Observational drawing can include cityscapes, landscapes, a small or large still life, friends and family, interiors or exteriors... Pretty much anything that you can find to look at and draw.
Before shading: determine the darkest and the lightest areas in the object:
After you have practiced the drawing - draw the object on a black illustration board. Build the object with a regular pencil (very fine lines!), then shade with a white pencil.
Keep in mind the basic shading pattern (highlight, light, shadow, reflected light, and drop shadow):
You can get creative with the drawing: