Please Help With Shading!

Discussion in 'Art and Illustration' started by ProjectDuska, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. ProjectDuska

    ProjectDuska New Member

    Hello, again!
    I apologize for double posting, and I really hope this won't be considered spam, but I'm looking for some help with digital shading, particularly to achieve a certain 'atmosphere'. I'm also having trouble making it look 'sharp,' I guess? What brushes should I use?
    Any tips would be greatly appreciated :)
  2. Butt_Ghost

    Butt_Ghost Caffeine-based lifeform.

    Soft round brush for soft edges(curves etc.), hard round for hard edges(angular features, the edge of an object).
    Keeping in mind you can combine the two, like this:
    I did this with a mouse so it's not the best and really out of perspective, but illustrates the concept hopefully. The shading inside the edges is soft, with a soft round brush, while the edges themselves are hard edged.
    Use a hard eraser to erase away edges and stuff and a soft one to soften shadows. Use the color picker and brush opacity to bridge the gap between different shades. You can use the selection tools to "stencil" out areas in your image to shade, as well, and create the hard edges that way. If you don't know about the color picker yet, generally holding down alt in most art software will let you pick a shade from the canvas, so you can go over two shades with a transparent brush and use it to pick the shade in the middle, so that you can smooth out the shading with it. Try to remember, also, that creating a new layer, drawing on it and merging it down costs nothing, so it's very useful to just make a new layer, experiment/shade a difficult area and then merge it down when you're satisfied.

    If you were going to use a more complex brush then it'd be to achieve a look - like the textured look you get with real life paint - or to shade something that has a texture to it like, as an example, gravel or tree bark has a lot of surface variation that you could shade with a rough brush. For this reason textured brushes outside of the hard round/soft round are generally made for really specific tasks, and hard round/soft round is the simplest, best fit for most shading.
    Also, you've probably been told this already, but don't use dodge/burn. If you really want to use effects to shade, using effect layers like photoshop's overlay or hard light/soft light layers is less destructive, lets you define edges better and is less prone to making your image look muddy than dodge/burn.

    It's hard to say what you need to improve on without an example. A lot of it is observing/learning how light reacts to different materials and trying to figure out how to paint that. In regards to looking for an "atmosphere" that's a really vague question and hard to give an answer for unless you can give an example of the sort of atmosphere you're going for, maybe look up some books/tutorials for color theory. If you're starting off, doing the greyscale-to-color method might make shading easier.

    Links: Home has some digital painting tutorials and the first thing it touches on is shading. It's a really good resource, goes into how to use brushes/other features in Photoshop in more detail than I ever possibly could. PSG Art tutorial there's also this, it's not in as much detail but a bit easier to absorb.

    Worthwhile reading:
    James Gurney - Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter

    A few terms you might want to google for shading/atmosphere are:
    Atmospheric perspective
    Reflected light in art
    Direct light and diffuse light in art
  3. ProjectDuska

    ProjectDuska New Member

    I can't even describe how thankful I am. This is way beyond anything I expected, and I am so so appreciative.

    I will definitely try and experiment with these on my next digital piece. I actually hadn't heard of any of these tips before, so much obliged!! I'm sure with some practice with these, my art will become a lot better

    Thank you friend <3
  4. W00lies

    W00lies Member

    Maybe this will help too. It's not something I personally studied so I'm in no position to explain it but you basically need to use something called "planes" where you need to image a 3D shape on everything you draw.
    -..Legacy..- likes this.
  5. ProjectDuska

    ProjectDuska New Member

    Ah, I'm sorry, for some reason I never got this notification! Thank you so much for the advice on both of my questions. You're really a fabulous help and I can't thank you enough
    W00lies likes this.
  6. KrissySempaiArt

    KrissySempaiArt Mama Memester

    Im not sure what program you use , but i personally use sai and I use the regulr base pen tool to make the line and for sharp , ypu can blend it woth a low density water brush to het a certain look . Thats just what i do , i mainly do it when im coloring hair the most c: gives a blened but still sharp look .
    -..Legacy..- likes this.
  7. ProjectDuska

    ProjectDuska New Member

    Thank you! I really appreciate this because tbh I’ve been so frustrated trying to figure it out myself lol
    KrissySempaiArt likes this.
  8. narutogod123

    narutogod123 Void Mage

    -..Legacy..- likes this.
  9. -..Legacy..-

    -..Legacy..- Sergal Mafia :P

    I do the same, and occasionally do a series of consecutively darker shades of the base color, slightly water brushed. Really depends on how wide the shading needs to be, based on light source.
    KrissySempaiArt likes this.
  10. ProjectDuska

    ProjectDuska New Member

  11. ProjectDuska

    ProjectDuska New Member

    Yeah, shading by light source is something I’ve struggled with, but that’s mainly because I don’t do digital all that much. But I will definitely experiment around and see what works, thanks for the advice!
    -..Legacy..- and KrissySempaiArt like this.
  12. -..Legacy..-

    -..Legacy..- Sergal Mafia :P

    IMG_1597.JPG Random grab from google-fu
    ProjectDuska likes this.
  13. ProjectDuska

    ProjectDuska New Member

    Ah, thank you! Visual stuff always helps c:
    -..Legacy..- likes this.

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