16

Aug

Beginners Digital Painting Lesson – secrets to effective shading


Shading is a very important aspect of any painting and drawing, it is what brings a tree to life and gives depth and presence to any object or scenes. Paintology has the brush style called ‘shade’ that you will be using again and again for all your digital painting projects. Before we venture into this brush tool it is worth going over what shading is and how we can better utilize the concepts of shading to bring perspective and depth to our drawings.

 

Fig-1

Fig-1

Select the line tool from the Paintology brush style window and draw two circles as shown in fig. 1. Once created, save the image to your album so you can open it repeatedly to practise on. With the line tool we will try to create the shading to this circular object to give a 3d effect, for example the shading you will come across when we view an apple. Although when you actually try to draw a real-life apple you may see all kinds of reflections depending on how the light is directed and also how reflective the surface is. However, for this lesson we just want to get a handle on the shading methods one can use to create the effects we are looking for. Lets assume the object that we are trying to shade is a round sphere and the light is falling from the right. This would leave a dark area furthest away from the light source with some parts with lighter parts. This introduces the method of drawing which we call shading.

 

Fig-2

Fig-2

Fig. 2 shows two methods of shading, the hatching and the cross-hatching. These are ideal ways to create the 3d shading effect on the round object when you have a pen that has only one tone. An ink pen will have this kind of feature and one can get different gradients of shade using these methods. However, if you were using a pencil and paper, you can vary the shade by applying the right pressure. This would be the best method of shading and will allow you greater control over the different shades you want to create and thus make more realistic drawings. Unfortunately, in the digital world we do not have much support for pressure sensitive devices but they are slowly being introduced by big companies such as Samsung with their S-pen and tablets. We need to resort to other methods and fortunately, we have a great tool for this which is the ‘shade’ tool in the Paintology app (no surprise there :-)). Before we dive into this tool, it is worth examining all the other methods of shading since these effectively are ‘strokes’ that all budding artists will need to learn.

 

Fig-3

Fig-3

While keeping the pen tool in Paintology we use two other methods called contour and scumbling as shown in fig. 3. Here you can see the directions used to create the relative tones in the shade. You may often find artists stick to one method in a drawing to create a uniform and balanced view of what they are seeing. Some artists use the combination of colors and this ink method of shading to create interesting works of art.

 

 

 

 

 

Fig-4

Fig-4

In fig. 4 we have the stippling effect of shading which is basically dots and below this is a drawing using all combinations of the above. The stippling effect is what ink-jet printers use to render text and images on paper by applying microscopic dots through the ink nozzles to the paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig-4a

Fig-4a

Let’s examine an actual black and white picture and see how the drawing is made up (fig. 4a).

 

If we zoom in on one corner of the clouds (fig. 4b), we can easily see how the various shades are created to give the total effect that we are looking for. In practise you will never use this kind of tedious detail to get the overall picture you want to create, you will adopt a broader method of shading in smaller areas and build it up through the whole canvas to get the desired overall painting. With practise, your shading will become so intuitive and fast that it will become second nature to you.

Fig-4b

Fig-4b

 

Continuing with the various methods of shading, there are tools within Paintology that will allow you to offer shading by varying the ‘hardness’ and ‘density’ of the brush such as the ‘haze brush’. In fig. 5 we use the tools to create the shading effect shown and by repeatedly going over the same areas we can ‘darken’ the respective areas.

Fig-5

Fig-5

 

Fig. 6 shows another brush style called ‘shade’ and this is used to generate the drawings shown. As you become more experienced with the tools we can create the effect shown in the second sphere. This shows a more a realistic sphere by increasing the different shades not simply by using repeated strokes to build up the layers but by selecting a lighter greyish color also. In order to accurately render a sharp edge, I simply reduce the size of the brush and increase to a darker color tone to go around the spheres where the dark shade is required. In time and with these effective brush styles at your disposal, you will be creating fantastic effects with relative ease.

 

Fig-6

Fig-6

Check out the other Paintology beginner lessons that will help you improve your drawing and painting skills.



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