14-bis's avatar
shadow tutorial
By 14-bis   |   Watch
1K 141 48K (1 Today)
Published: July 13, 2009
© 2009 - 2019 14-bis
here is a basic tutorial for shadows .

you will need your line , flat colors and a bg in separated layers.

the first step is to you to create a shadow layer between the line and flats . and set it to an opacity or fill to 35%.
and you will use pure black for the painting.

capture the selection of the flat to use on the shadow layer.
( select/load selection)

to paint the shadows you need to understand the volumes of the object you are panting and set a direction of the main light source.
try to locate the round and flat areas of the object , and how the light will cast shadows over it .

the shadows can be of two types.
1- the natural shadow volume that every part has .
they are always soft , and for that you can use a soft brush.
2- the projected shadow from one object over another .
they are mainly hard , so you can use a hard brush here, or a soft brush with a small size .

after you are done with the shadows , you can set the opacity to zero , and get the selection of this shadow layer, to use on the next step.
( select/load selection)

the second step is to paint the definitive shadow .
you need to understand that shadows are not always black.
shadows are darker versions of the base color .
so , over your flat color , using the selection of the shadow layer , you will use the burn tool , with any solid brush.
that will provide you a nice colored shadow to your object.

its very important that you make just one pass with your pen tablet or mouse .
if you let go of them and make another paint stroke , you will have double effect that we dont want .

third step , is to get back a little of the shadow layer you had set opacity to zero .

try to play a little with some values .
you will see your burned painted areas , changing the values of dark.

its a good idea to keep a copy of the flat colors , in case you make some mistake when painting the burn areas.

well , I believe it would be more simple showing the process than trying to explain it ( specially with my weak english)

any doubts , just ask me .
thanks for looking .
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anonymous's avatar
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SocQA's avatar
Thanks for this tutorial!
RythmColors's avatar
RythmColorsHobbyist General Artist
What program is this?
EduardoAzrael's avatar
EduardoAzraelHobbyist General Artist
Dannny-Deviant's avatar
Dannny-DeviantHobbyist Digital Artist
im confused by the fun part...
NekoGirl29's avatar
NekoGirl29Hobbyist General Artist
I'm going to put this to good use. thanks. By the way, is this tutorial compatible with The Gimp?
14-bis's avatar
Totally .
its a very basic tecnique .
NekoGirl29's avatar
NekoGirl29Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, thanks for answering that.
I only have Photoshop Elements 6.0 at the moment, so I'm glad to know I can use this with the Gimp since Elements is actually kinda limited.
J4B's avatar
J4BHobbyist Digital Artist
The statue of Liberty looks pretty sexy.

Good tutorial too.
soovigon's avatar
soovigonProfessional Filmographer
Wow!!!!! great!
DanielGee's avatar
DanielGeeHobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome tutorial, kudos.
Juniupaulo's avatar
JuniupauloStudent Digital Artist
muito útil, cara. obrigado e parabéns pelo trabalho
XeoS735's avatar
XeoS735Student Digital Artist
Hey thx for the link gunna use it in my current project also if there is lighting tutorial that would be nice (not so much about how light hits a object but how you apply it to an image, if its like this tutorial but opposite Example: add white to a layer reduce its opacity select it and dodge then add highlights, then just send me a message, thx again for your time XD)
Ultraviolet-Oasis's avatar
This is why I wil never achieve the level of True Artist... in this life. I will defintely take it up when I am reanimated in 5155.
mangaturtle's avatar
mangaturtleHobbyist Digital Artist
Okay let me see if i follow this.
make all the layers.
paint your shadows on 35% shadow layer in pure black.
select/load selection the pure black
and burn tool.
or am i completely off?
hammerx's avatar
thanx was some help
Mister-JP's avatar
OK I get it. There is no real "secret" to the shadows, you just have to understand the correct lighting and how shadows (and I assume highlights) SHOULD naturally fall on your figure. I was hoping for some magic bullet technique that would make drawing these much faster. I guess the real secret is practice.

Fantastic body of work, you are truly inspiring.
14-bis's avatar
yes , practice ,and a good eyes for details .
you must understand the object you are drawing shadows on it .
Relatos-del-bardo's avatar
Relatos-del-bardoHobbyist General Artist
Really good tutorial, i like it... Thanks ^^
Asrath's avatar
AsrathStudent General Artist
do you also have a tut for light? I cannot get that done right without my drawing looking pale >.<
FullDestiny's avatar
mesmo que eu tente, minha perspectiva de sombra é tipo... nula. não consigo imaginar onde deveria ficar a sombra e onde não. Mas o tutorial é ótimo, acho que o problema é comigo mesmo D:
Almost-too-late's avatar
never thought to ask, but what program do you use?
14-bis's avatar
Photoshop CS2
almost all the time .
anonymous's avatar
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