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Block drawing is an artistic technique used most often with letters and numbers to give them shading and dimension. Drawing block numbers isn't a difficult process and can be accomplished even by someone who has little experience or talent for art. Block numbers can be a useful artistic element for flyers, birthday cards and invitations. With a little practice, you can use the block technique on the numbers you draw to give them dimension and make them stand out in your artwork.
Write the number you want to turn into a block number. Write it using as many straight lines as you can. The straight lines are important because they will be the foundation of the block appearance. Depending upon the number you want to draw, you may have to create it using more than one pencil stroke.
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Draw the dimension lines for your number. These are the lines that will create the area you want to shade. Choose a side. The side you select will depend upon the angle where you want the light to appear. If you want it to appear as if light is hitting the number from the right, the shading will appear on the left. To create the areas you'll shade, draw lines to give yourself an area to shade. For the number "1," for instance, draw a vertical line on the right that extends the length of your initial number, leaving some space between your number and the outer line you can fill in with shading.
Connect the outer line to the initial number one you drew. At the top, draw two short, slanted lines from your initial "1" that connect to the outer line you drew. Draw one line at the bottom of your "1," connecting it to the outer line. This gives your number an area you can add shading.
Color the area made by the two lines with pencil, using light side-to-side strokes of the pencil tip. Color the entire area in this way, then use the corner of your eraser to smudge the shading and give it a smoother look. This shading will help increase the block appearance of your letters and make them stand out.