How to Draw a Cowboy Hat – Part 5

How to Draw a Cowboy Hat – Intro

How to Draw a Cowboy Hat – Part 1

How to Draw a Cowboy Hat – Part 2

How to Draw a Cowboy Hat – Part 3

How to Draw a Cowboy Hat – Part 4

How to Draw a Cowboy Hat – Part 5

How to Draw a Cowboy Hat – Part 6

Shade the Brim

Shade One Side of the Brim


Okay. The hat band and crown are done. Now let’s shade the brim. We’ll start with the side of the brim on the cowboy’s right, which is on our left side.


Still using the 2B pencil, put a light area of base shading on this section of the brim.


Then, darken the outline of the seam going around the brim of the hat. Rather than doing the seam around the entire hat, we’ll just stop here for now.


Now I’m going to go back and apply a darker layer of tones on this first section. I especially want it darker here, next to where the brim wraps around the crown of the hat, since the hat crown makes a shadow on the brim.


After that, shade the seam going around the brim in a similar way. Notice how I am leaving a thin sliver of white space along where the actual seam meets the rest of the brim. You can think of this sort of reflected highlight as a way to separate these two sections of similar value so we can still see them as separate parts.


Continue shading the next triangular section of the brim and seam in the same manner. You can make it darker around the reflected highlight of the seam to make it stand out more.

Keep Shading the Brim


Keep working to shade the brim of the cowboy hat. Begin by shading the rhombus-shaped area of the front of the brim. This can be a lighter base layer at first, and we will put some darker layers on in a minute.


Part of the shading process involves constantly looking at what you already shaded, seeing how it goes with what you are currently shading, and going back to make adjustments as needed. For that reason, I am going back to put some darker layers of graphite on the first side of the brim we shaded. This includes that area I pointed out earlier where the brim wraps around the hat crown and this rhombus shape we just shaded. Let’s also keep shading the outer part of the brim with the seam.


Darken the top line of the brim that curves up and conceals the back of the hat band. As I do this, I want to darken this back area of the crown above this line. Whenever you are shading and you want to darken an outline, it’s best to shade the adjacent area of the line a similar value so you are not left with a harsh, unrealistic-looking outline that stands out.


After that, begin shading the underside of the brim, followed by the seam. When shading this band of the seam, shade the edges slightly darker and leave it slightly lighter going down the center to give the impression of the curved edge of the brim facing us.

Shade Next to the Ear


You can now work on the second half of the brim. Extend the shading from the seam all the way to the end and try to keep this section somewhat light.


On the portion of the brim underneath the seam, focus on using darker values.


The darkest section of the brim is right behind the ear. This section covers a triangle-shaped area that extends from just above the ear to about half-way back the remainder of the brim. There will be some brim left beyond this section. When we get to shading this area, you can make it a bit lighter. Just make sure your darkest values occur wherever the brim meets the ear.

Finish Shading the Brim


To finish off the brim, just continue shading in the direction of the brim shape. That means your shading should curve generally in the same places that the brim curves.


In the section of the brim behind the ear, make the hat slightly lighter to show where the hat turns underneath.


Keep shading over these lighter areas, building up layers of tone to darken the brim. Also, the back curve of the brim should be darker, but not as dark as the section behind the ear.

Once you’ve shaded over the back brim a couple of times, giving it a couple of good coats of graphite, then you’re ready for the next part. This will almost conclude the shading for the cowboy hat.

Finish Shading the Cowboy Hat


This is the final part of shading the cowboy hat. For this, you need to switch to your 4B pencil to make sure you get the darkest values possible. This constant layering of shading that we’re doing improves the overall depth of the drawing.


Begin with the back of the crown to the right of the half-circle crease. Use the same side-to-side angle of strokes as earlier.


Move on to the inside of the half-circle crease. Shade only the front portion of the crease, again using the same horizontal strokes.


Switch to vertical strokes to darken the front edge of the crown, then to short horizonal strokes to darken the area to the right of the edge, but not too far to the right.


With less pressure, use broad sideways strokes that are fairly close together to go over the entire crown area. This is less for shadowing purposes and more to just bring out the overall black color of the hat.


Now work on the brim on our left side. Make sure to get the darkest areas but also touch up on some of the lighter areas too.


Continue darkening other parts of the brim, such as the front. Don’t forget the area behind the ear too.


Keep working your way to the right side of the picture, darkening the brim in the foreground next.


Then darken the back of the brim. I’m also going to draw a dark line for the continuation of the seam of the brim.


Just as we did for the crown, go over other lighter areas of the brim to smooth out the tones. Be careful that you don’t press down too hard and drown out the darker tones you just placed.


Finally, go along the edges with an eraser to clean up any stray pencil marks that may have escaped the outline of the hat. Aside from some final touch ups, we are basically finished with the shading for the cowboy hat!

How to Draw a Cowboy Hat – Part 6

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