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Giant Shading Tutorial

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By TamberElla   |   
© 2011 - 2020 TamberElla
2014 update: This is quite old but hopefully may still be helpful! Remember to reference a bunch of different tutorials. I honestly didn't know a whole lot when I made this so it's very surface level. BUT if it's any help I'm very glad! Now go study from some photos and such! Also, recommended reading is James Gurney "Color and Light".


Due to popular demand.... here's a shading tutorial!


-This is just one guide! There are many other useful tutorials out there that go into more detail about certain points!
-Remember to learn about shading and lighting from photos and not just from art and tutorials. Don't copy other people's mistakes!
-I am not by any means a master of any of this... remember that you're the one choosing to follow my tutorial, if you do haha!

With that said.... ENJOY!


Also, I've created a Supplement: Shading Tut Supplement by TamberElla
And please view part two! Long Fur Shading Tutorial by TamberElla
OLD Tutorial on Multiply Layers: Photoshop Multiply Layer Tut by TamberElla
Image size
576x5920px 1.69 MB
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Macintosh
anonymous's avatar
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rathacat's avatar
rathacatHobbyist Traditional Artist

This will really help me paint big cats.

Endless thank-yous! R-cat

EmberCat2z's avatar
EmberCat2zHobbyist Digital Artist
Ahhh thank you so much for making this. Even though its older its one of the best lighting and shading tutorial I've come across, in how it explains in depth about shading and shows many examples from different angles. Again, thank you and I'm sure this will help me and many others more when learning to shade drawings or paintings. 
Eternities22's avatar
Eternities22Hobbyist Digital Artist
Light sounds? Don't you mean light source?
NikuComics's avatar
NikuComicsProfessional Digital Artist
now THAT is how a tutorial is made! I don't use photoshop but I should be able to get my way around it. Thank you!
ArtsyChick19's avatar
ArtsyChick19Hobbyist General Artist
I can't shade for the life of me, and when I stumbled upon this, I about cried. Thank you!! This is so helpful, and this will be my go-to when I am trying to teach myself! Thank you so much, Tam! Even though this is really old, its awesome.

Please stay awesome and please keep making these amazing tutorials!
StrayTheTrue's avatar
StrayTheTrueHobbyist Digital Artist
Aaa I really needed this! Thank you!
berrybush1's avatar
This is the best shading tutorial I've ever found!
But...... I still can't shade. ¯\_( ;-; )_/¯
I just don't know what's wrong with me that I can't do that.
With this, I'll never improve.

Oh well TuT
uHHHH-SkInNY-PeNIs's avatar
uHHHH-SkInNY-PeNIsHobbyist Digital Artist
you improve every time you draw something, hun. Don't worry about it.
SkelianeDee's avatar
SkelianeDeeHobbyist Digital Artist
I first like to cell shade amd then I blurr it all
Lemonakita's avatar
LemonakitaHobbyist General Artist
Awesome tutorial! Thank you so much!!
Stardust-Lilacs's avatar
Stardust-LilacsStudent Digital Artist
Oooo this is really helpful! Do you think you’ll ever do one on Texture? I can’t do texture at all ;-;
xKzan's avatar
xKzanProfessional Digital Artist
Man, I love you! thank you so much
ViolentParoxysm's avatar
ViolentParoxysmHobbyist General Artist
This is incredibly in-depth! Thank you so very much!
Shadzerios's avatar
ShadzeriosHobbyist Digital Artist
I must say this is the best shading tutorial that I have seen, which shows how big difference the light and shading colors have with the character colors and the mood of the image. It's so awesome~! :omgnoes: 
S-t-o-r-m-b-l-a-z-e's avatar
This is seriously amazing, thank you so much for making all these tutorials to help people!!
H0TAR0's avatar
H0TAR0Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is really useful you know thank you so much ^^
RndomRPGer's avatar
RndomRPGerHobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much!
Westerlund2's avatar
Westerlund2Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome. Makes my life easier.
BeeProdigy's avatar
BeeProdigyHobbyist General Artist
I still found this very useful also. Thank you so much ^ 3 ^
nolmet's avatar
"This is quite old". Well, it's 2017 and this is still very useful. Thank you!
ChishioOchita's avatar
ChishioOchitaHobbyist Digital Artist
This is wonderful. Thank you!
Skryzein's avatar
SkryzeinHobbyist General Artist
Thaaaaank yooooouuu! I know very little about shading and colouring, but this is so easy to understand I would cry! I'm going to fav this and the second part ò_ó right now.
DrStash's avatar
DrStashHobbyist Digital Artist
For me, personally, what has helped me grow, was using a looot of different colors. Instead of shading with a darker color, take a dark blue. Perhaps a red. Even if the base color is brown or red f.ex. 
To anyone trying to improve with art/coloring, just try it out. Try almost ever color there is. Mix them together. It looks great, I promise!
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