I draw by hand (fashion drawings), scan the drawing, import it in Illustrator. Then I use Image Tracing and Live Paint to colour my drawings.

How can I easily draw shadows on the clothes and the skin?

You will find an example below. I "Live Painted" the zones and I would like now to add shadows (on the clothes and on the skin) as if I would have a source of light coming from upper right.

Thank you for reading.

enter image description here

Edit after answer:

I chose to add additional shapes (strokes) as follow:

enter image description here

  • Do you have an example of what you are trying to accomplish? Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 7:04
  • Thank you for your answer. I added a drawing example and some text in the original message.
    – user15989
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 7:43

1 Answer 1


There is no automated processes for adding a light source to shapes. In order to add a light source you essentially have two options.

  1. Fill the shapes with gradients rather than flat colors
  2. Draw additional shapes to fill with flat shadow colors

Which method you choose depends on the desired final appearance.

If you draw shapes for shadow areas before you scan and trace, then you could use Live Paint to fill those areas with a darker color. Of course, then you'll have the traced paths separating the shadows from their corresponding content.

  • Thank you very much for your precise and complete answer. I chose your method 2. Draw additional shapes, as completed in original question. How can I easily remove the strokes used for drawing the shadow shapes?
    – user15989
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 9:43

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