How to draw insects: shiny vs. dull textures

Capturing the roundness and sheen of insect bodies is an important part of learning how to draw insects. The secret is in the amount of contrast between light and dark and the abruptness of transition between highlight and shadow. Here we explore how to draw an insect that looks rounded but dull and what to change to make it look glossy. You can print a beetle worksheet (three line-drawings of the beetle in this demonstration) on a piece of mid-weight watercolor paper and use it to experiment with and practice drawing dull or shiny insects. Click on the first image to enlarge it and follow the step by step demonstration.