How to Shade With Micron Pens

Micron pens are an essential tool for artists, designers, and illustrators. These pens come in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit different purposes. In this post, we will go over basic shading techniques using Micron pens. 

How to Shade With Micron Pens

The best way to shade with Micron Pens is to start at the top and work your way down. Draw a line with one pen, then cross it over with another color. Repeat this process until you get the desired shading effect. For more information on how to shade with micron pens, read this full blog post to know the tricks behind shading techniques.

10 Ways on How to Shade With Micron Pens

1. Basic Shading:

This is one of the most common shading techniques in the world. It’s basically drawing a line with a pen and then crossing it over with another color to make your image look three-dimensional. Of course, you can also add highlights and shadows, but this technique is essentially making cross-hatched patterns over your lines.

2. Shading With Triangles:

Another shading method is to use triangles. Draw a line with one pen, and then add the shade by drawing it again but at an angle using the same color. When you add a new color, do so diagonally across your triangle instead of horizontally or vertically to maintain consistency throughout your artwork. 

3. Shading With Rhombi:

This shading technique is similar to the method above but draw rhombuses (diamonds) instead of using triangles. The bigger the rhombus, the darker it will appear in your artwork.

4. Shading With Checkered Patches:

To get a more consistent shading effect, you can create diagonal lines with your pens to add tone and color. For example: Draw a line with one pen, then draw another above it at a forty-five-degree angle using the same color. Repeat this process until you’ve covered the entire area you want to shade.

Make a Gradient Shading

5. C-Shading:

This is considered one of the more advanced shading techniques. However, to achieve this effect, you must use two pens that contrast each other greatly in size. For example, use a 0.03 Micron Pen and a 0.005 Micron Pen.

6. Gradient Shading:

To create gradient shading, start by drawing one line with one pen at an angle, then connect it with a straight line using the same pen. Follow up with a softer color by drawing diagonal lines across your original line and connecting them in the middle. 

7. Sponging:

To sponge an area, you have to fill it in with a solid color and then go over it with another pen. It will give your artwork an almost watercolor-like effect.

8. Glazing:

This is a great shading technique that creates subtle gradients in your artwork. First, fill in the area with a solid color using one pen, then add lighter areas. Essentially you’re layering different colors on top of each other to create a more subtle effect.

9.  Hair Strokes:

Use different-sized pens to mimic facial hair on your subject. This will create depth and shadows without drawing any actual lines that indicate the hair. This is a good shading method for manga artists to use when shading characters.

Use Different-sized Pens  To Mimic Facial Hair

10. Contouring:

Very useful for artists who need to draw a map or an aerial view, contouring is basically outlining your object with one pen and then filling it in using another color. This method gives you a great base map that you can add shadows onto later.

5 Tips & Suggestions When Shading With Micron Pens

  • For best results, have a nice black line before you start shading. This makes it easier to show contrasts and helps when determining the distances of your shadows from highlights.
  • Since there’s a lot of room for error, practice! Think about the values you’re going to use before you put them down on paper.
  • If you’re having trouble deciding where your shadows and highlights are, try using graphite paper (also known as tissues). Graphite papers come in various shades, from white/light gray to black, and are great for getting an idea of where things will fall.
  • For darker values, try using a combination of B and 2H or 4B. Avoid using H because it will result in varying shades of gray that only appear black when you are looking at the same picture from across the room.
  • If you’ve run out of ink and are absolutely desperate for more, draw the darker parts of your picture with a pencil and use pressure to make it dark enough to appear like ink. After this, go over the line with your pen.

NOTE: If you don’t have a lot of experience shading or are new to using Microns, we suggest you start by sketching lightly in pencil (like 3H, 2B, or HB) and then shade with Micron pens. This will help you build off your sketch while still getting comfortable working with value (light-dark), shapes, and distance.


Micron pens are a great option for artists who want to shade with more precision. With these tips, you should create shading with your micron pen that is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to replicate.

Remember, the key to the successful use of a micron pen is choosing the right pens and understanding how they are used. If there’s anything we can help you learn about using the products or if you have questions about any of this information, please do not hesitate to contact us! We hope you found this blog post helpful in learning more about how to shade with micron pens.

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