Rendering chrome is surprisingly easy when you know just a few rules.
You don't have to master mirror reflections to do a good, and believable
job representing chrome, you just need to practice.


For flat planes, see Mirror Reflection Logic.

Notice on vertical, flat planes, how the floor lines and background edges continue, straight through the plane; lines continue to the vanishing point. Polished materials like this wood cause the sharpness to blur and fade off more than will occur with chrome polished surfaces.

We have to "map" the horizontal distance, into the chrome or mirrored plane. The red ball does not sit on the bottom edge of the cube.


As you progress in grey values, begin to add in color. Start with a simple, graphic background. Notice how the background color "flavors" the left part of the cylinder, and the top plane as well.

Parallel Shadow cast

Negative Light Shadow cast

Once you have the contrast and value ranges in greyscale, you can color cast your reflective surfaces with any coloration you desire. This may represent an anodized metal, chrome electro-plating, painted surface, etc.

Marker rendering demo of a polished metal thermos type cylinder with rubber grip and lid.

Brass, polished bronze, gold, and like metals, are just chrome logic, in a warm golden spectrum of color.


On and inside polished surface, the landscape will invert.

Brushed metals will exhibit the same properties as polished and chrome surfaces, but with less contrast. Using Warm against Cool grey values can suggest different types of metal, such as nickel vs aluminum, or titanium vs stainless steel.




These renderings of sculptures by Jeff Koons are by a student, Socheta Kong using markers, pastels and prismacolor pencils.

* Estimate only. See instructor and calendar for specific due dates. Summer Session schedule is more compressed with one week equal to approximately two and half semester weeks.

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©2020 Michael LaForte / Studio LaForte, All Rights Reserved. This site and all work shown here is purely for educational purposes only. Where ever possible student work has been used or original works by Michael LaForte.
Works by professionals found online or in publication are used as instructional aids in student understanding and growth and is credited everywhere possible.