In this blog I'll share my
experiences navigating digital art
In this blog I'll share my
experiences navigating digital art
Hi. This is my first post in a few months. I'm very sorry about the hiatus, I've been very busy with school and the like. This post will be a short one, but I hope soon things will lighten up and I can write more frequently. In the meantime, though, here's the post!
This tutorial will cover how to do realistic lighting shading using digital art software such as in the art below. For simpler lighting and shadows, see my Three Tone Lighting post.
Art from my Superheroes comic strip.
Note: I use Autodesk Sketchbook for my art. There are other digital art softwares you can use as well. For this tutorial you need one that allows you to make layers.
Draw your picture. Don't color it yet! I recommend using at least two layers: one for the foreground and one for the background.
Duplicate the layer and color it in full color. Use the full color as if it was in broad daylight. Don't draw shadows. (The other layers will act as shadows.)
You need to duplicate it because you are going to color this drawing in multiple different ways. If you were to duplicate it after you colored it the fill tool might not work as well if you used dark colors (similar to the black outlines) or if one section was colored black. When you tried to change the color later the whole outline would change to the new color. That's why I recommend duplicating it first.
Duplicate the original layer again. This time color everything in the shadow color. For this picture I am using a greyish blue for this. I suggest that if something is black in the full color version you color it black here as well.
Often in cartoons and comics dark scenes will be drawn in blue:
Now color the last duplicate the highlight color. This color will change depending on the color of the light source. My light source will be yellow so I made the highlight color a whiteish yellow.
You may make another copy for coloring or use the original layer itself. If you foresee yourself wanting to change the lighting later or starting over with the coloring you might want to keep a duplicate of the drawing that is unedited. If you hide this extra layer you can keep it out of view of the final drawing but be able to use it again later if needed. I do this a lot if I think I might mess up or want to start over.
Order the layers. You'll want the full color one in the middle. I suggest you use the dark layer on top, full color in the middle, and highlight on the bottom. This may seem unintuitive, but it will make the next steps easier, especially if the picture is mostly dark with a few highlights.
Draw in your light source. Mine is a ball of light summoned by one of the characters.
Use a soft eraser brush and erase the dark layer. This will show through to the lighter, full color layer below. Erase where the midground would be.
Note: You may want to save a duplicate of the layer in case you mess up or want to change it later. You will need to hide this layer so it doesn't appear in the final drawing.
Now do the same thing on the full color layer. Erase where the highlights are. (Again, you may want to save a duplicate layer before you erase.)
Now color the midground layer. Do the same thing as before. Start with the color and then do dark and highlight versions. (You may not need a highlight version depending on how much light your midground will get.)
Do the same process you did with the foreground to color the highlights and shadows.
Do the different layers again for the background.
Do the shading and finish any last details!
First off, sorry for my lack of posts last month. I was busy with my Spanish class and then my family's beach vacation. I did, however, upload art while I was gone on my comics page and paintings page.
I have also created a new page for my art which shows sketches I have done. You can view it here. Below is some of the art I have posted on it.
I don't play videogames. It's not that I have anything against them, they're just not my thing. I have many other hobbies like this blog and my comics and dungeons and dragons that I keep me busy.
However, I've always been fascinated by the effects and scenery in videogames. The animations are so realistic. It's incredible. Here I'll show some effects that inspire me and I find beautiful or jaw-dropping.
You probably know by now how much I like water so of course I'll love the scenery in Bioshock. The water animation is so cool!
The mirror effects in Portal are epic. It's so cool how accurately the reflections, for lack of a better word, are. I've been messing with drawing portals in my comics but I'm not there yet with the accurate mirroring and all.
The scenery is amazing. Yeah.
Today marks the first day of LGBTQ+ pride month! In celebration, I'm posting some of the pride art I made over time! Enjoy!
From my superhero comic strip; A Matter of Time, Pride Month
One trick I like to do to make my pictures look more realistic is by drawing multiple sections of different illumination. Three is the most common. These are usually shadow, mid-tone, and highlight. I have briefly talked about this before in my shadows post, however I'll expand on it now. I'm going to mostly focus on faces as that is where this trick is hardest to implement.
Placement of Shadows on Faces
I showed these pictures before in the shadows post, but I'll show them here again as I think they really help visualize what's going on with light on the face.
Looking at models such as these is extremely helpful when learning to draw certain things. Everyone's face is different so if you don't have a photo of a subject or a physical subject in front of you, it can be useful to look at lighting on different people's faces to try to determine how shadows would fall on your character's face.
When you are drawing these shadows you first have to identify what the light source is. In this example it is the campfire.
For shadows it's a similar concept. The difference is instead of where the light is hitting it's where the light isn't hitting. When you have a single light source it's easier to track shadows as they are mostly where the highlights are not with perhaps a small mid-tone section. However when you get more lights, such as a normal lit room or outside during the day, it's harder to place them. This becomes instinct with time, but one trick is to think of them as in the opposite place as you put your highlights. They also show up under obstructions like hair or a sleeve or the brim of a hat.
Check out this example, also from my comic strip.
I hope this has been helpful! See you for the next post in a few weeks!
Art: Comics; created by me
My name is Loren Sinclair
I am an artist and amateur cartoonist. I have been drawing my own comic strips (the biggest one about superheroes) and improving my art along the way.
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