enter image description here

My aim was to create a kind of photo frame. That frame has a thin outer board attached to it and inside we can put photos.

The outer thin board on borders is fat and that creates a kind of depth that shows that we are looking in the frame.


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Why is my drawing not having this depth and what can be done to achieve that?

Please show with diagrams.

1 Answer 1


You can use shading.
As light naturally comes from above, the most logical approach to create a sense of depth is to add shadows to receding areas based on an imaginary light source straight above it, like this:

edited version of image from question with added shading

Also note that the frame you are referring to has a lot of relief that similarly obscures and catches light, which has a huge effect on a sense of 3-dimensionality.
This you can likewise easily simulate by shading the decorative patterns, like this:

enter image description here

Because your drawing seems to have been done in pen, you can - depending on the paper - add these shadows using a large variety of mediums, from pencils to paints, with charcoal being the easiest and quickest way.

  • I get your point. BTW is there any way to get this 3d effect by adding some designs in some particular way instead of shading? Aug 13, 2020 at 13:34
  • Also, what is relief? Aug 13, 2020 at 13:34
  • 1
    1. Well, you have apparent 3-dimensionality because of overlapping elements (in the decorations), and, more importantly, a series of lines that seem to converge in the center (a kind of linear perspective setup). The latter already gives a sense of recedence. Also bear in mind that classic frames are familiar objects, and that they are naturally associated with depth (as we picture them in our minds), so the more your zentangle drawing simulates a classical frame, the more apparent depth people will imagine it having. Does that help at all? (2. Relief).
    – Joachim
    Aug 13, 2020 at 15:47

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