Principles of Form Modeling

3 min readMar 29, 2021

How and why different forms react to light? Understanding this process will help you when you approach your next painting. And you may apply these newly learned principles to any subject.

We’d like to address some principles of form modeling. It’s helpful to understand because it guides your looking.

And speaking about form modeling principles in this little diagram here, because we’d like to point out the difference between two kinds of shadows, formed shadow edges, that is a form shadow edge and cast shadow edges.

So we all know this is the form shadow edge, and as the form turns away from the light source, we get that shadow edge.

If the form turns very quickly, we get a sharp form shadow edge. If it turns slowly away from the light source, we get a much softer form shadow edge.

In the cone, which is probably the best way to illustrate the form shadow edge as it goes from real soft to a little bit sharper, it’s still a soft edge, softer than quick turning form.

The slower the form turns away from the light source, in other words, the larger the circumference, the softer the form shadow edge.

And you can see here that this is much softer than up here at the top, of course, this is a simple drawing meant to illustrate the principles involved here with regards to form shadow edges.

Turns sharp, quickly rather, it gets a sharp edge. Turns slower, it gets a soft edge. Turns even slower, it’s an even softer form shadow edge.

So the larger the circumference, the slower the form turns away from the light source, the softer the form shadow edge is.

More basic principles of form modeling as well as principles of perspective drawing, composition and developing your creativity you’ll find at the online course with the urban designer from Malaysia Syahmi Daud.

You will learn the basics of linear perspective in interior and exterior space, how to build complex perspective with two vanishing points, how to detail objects with prints and shadows, considering the volume, how to add monochrome color and put light accents, how to place human figures in the drawing space and much more.

Due to theoretical and practical tasks, you will understand how you can put the different elements in your drawing and combine them to reach the effect of the realistic urban sketch.

This online course is intended primarily for those who want to learn to draw and for those who have never painted before.

Go to our website to know more details and to purchase the online course. Stay inspired and motivated together with ARTLIFE ACADEMY!




It is professional education in drawing and painting in contemporary and traditional techniques from well-known and commercially successful artists