A Guide to the Basics of Art
- Pinned by Dark22978 on May 3, '20 1:39pm
Thread Topic: A Guide to the Basics of Art
I really don't want to be posting so sparsely, but I make do with the time I have 😅 Let's move onto
☆☆☆SHADING & HIGHLIGHTING☆☆☆
How do I make my artwork look less flat? What types of colors should I use for shading? Why is shading so important anyway, can't I just skip it?
1. Cell Shading vs. Soft Shading
Cell shading is a type of shading using no midtones to transition from a flat color to a shade color, as seen below
Cell shading is also often used in animated shows, since it is easier to animate and/or simplify.
Soft shading is a type of shading using many midtones in order to make a very smooth transition from flat color to shade color, as seen below
Soft shading us often used in finished illustrations or semi-realistic works of art.
^ Example by Lois Van Baarle
^ Example by il.lumin on instagram
Some artists/cartoonists use a mix of cell shading and soft shading in their illustrations. There is no reason to be limited to just one or to not experiment and try out the other way of shading if you're used to just one.
Notice how in the drawing above the character's face is mainly soft shading while other areas (ie: clothes) are cell shaded. This helps differentiate between two different textures without having to actually drawing every strand of thread to pull off texture.
2. Shade Hues
There are many ways to decide which color to shade with. Let's go back to that blue circle to start simply. The first three basic options you have are:
1. Shade with a darker version of the flat color (top left)
2. Shade with black or dark gray, set at a lower opacity (top right)
3. Shade with a dark version of another color, often the one opposite the flat color on the color wheen. Blue flat color? Shade with dark orange or red, with a low opacity (bottom)
I would not recommend you do option 2. Shading with black often leaves an artwork looking bleak. If you shade with another color, albeit a darker version of said color, then the art will come out looking more vibrant as well as realistic. Lighter colors are often warmer while shades will be colder.
3. Where and When to Shade
A mix of cell shading and soft shading is often the best option since there are so many things that casts shadows differently. Skin casts shadows softly so the best way to shade it would be with soft shading.
^ Example by Stanley "Artgerm" Lau
Things that might cast shadows harshly include but isn't limited to: leather, armor, jewelry, skin (only when something is over the skin, like the skirt in the example above. Or perhaps if a very harsh light in on it, like a flashlight. Skin is complicated..), and many other types of fabrics.
If you'd like to see examples of different types of fabrics then look up "d&d character art" because I don't know why, but a lot of d&d and fantasy art is very detailed in shading and semirealism. You easily see how armor differs from fur, how fur differs from silk, how silk differs from cotton, etc.
4. Shading Styles
There are 5 main shading styles that people use in artworks!
1. Blending: This is where you smoothly go from flat color to shade color, it's been the main example of shading in the above works of art.
2. Hatching: This is where you use lines to shade. The lines, whether going horizontally or vertically or diagonally, will always stay in a line and never cross each other like on a plaid design or something. It's all just the same direction of lines
3. Cross-Hatching: This is where you hatch, but then cross the hatched lines in with lines in the mirrored direction.
4. Stippling: This is where you use dots to shade. The sparser the dots, the lighter the area. The denser the dots, the darker the area.
5. Scribbling: This is where you you scribble with a drawing utensil to give off the illusion of shading. The lighter the scribbles, the lighter the area. The denser and darker the scribbles, the darker the area.
Here are two examples of where I use a mix of hatching, cross hatching, and a little blending:
These shading styles aren't usually in my normal artwork, it's whenever I'm trying out a new style that I might use them. It's good to experiement out of your comfort zone every now and then.
Rim lighting is a type of highlighting style where a character appears to be backlit and a blatant highlight line can be seen on the edges of their face or accesories. Rim lighting can also be used on shiny objects like armor and jewelry to make it reflect more like the object would in real life. In the examples below a bit of rim lighting can be seen on the edges of the characters:
Not all rim lighting has to be white either!
Highlighting is usually done towards the end of the drawing process. Highlights are the lightest parts of a drawing, and respectively shadows are the darkest part. Some artists skip the highlighting phase entirely (ie: Me because I'm so impatient) but if you're going to highlight only one thing in a character drawing I think it should definitely be the hair. If hair is too flat it won't look believable at all. If you're doing a background/environment drawing, then that'd be changed to water and/or glass.
In the example drawing above, drawn by crummy.soda on instagram, you can see how the hair highlights makes the artwork altogether look better.
In the artwork above by Kasey Golden, you can see how the highlights on the windows makes the art better and more realistic, even though it's in a simple cartoonist style.
Quick tip 1: If a limb/tree/building/anything is in the background of an artwork, then you can make the whole thing darker to potray that it's in the background instead of the forefront. Like the legs on the example below:
Quick tip 2: If you make certain parts of the lineart thicker, you can give off the illusion of shadows without needing much shading. Like the artwork below by teethmeat on instagram:
If you use a line style like this then the parts that I'd recommend be thicker is all of the lines that overlap something (examples: hair over face, clothes over skin) and parts that might need more definition (examples: eyes, curves, bottom of feet)
Quick tip 3: If you want to have a consistent light source, I recommend you draw an arrow reminding you of where the light hits and thereby reminding you of where highlights and shadows should go.
Bumping this before it locks <3
rhimicha AdvancedThis is a very helpful thread thank u <3
I would love to get more into art I'm currently debating whether or not I should go to school for it as a proper degree or do computer science instead =_=
in any case I like this it inspires meee
Log in to post or Get your free account