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Giant Shading Tutorial by TamberElla Giant Shading Tutorial by 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
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Daily Deviation

Given 2011-08-16
Giant Shading Tutorial by *TamberElla

Suggested by *Rosella-of-Daventry: "This is my most favorite tutorial in all of DA. *TamberElla shows and explains light sources perfectly, using her own gorgeous art and style to help and inspire the viewer to improve their understanding of shading. I love it!"

Suggested by *blackbutterfly007: "Its an amazing guide how to create your very own shading style combining different methods, filled with great examples, descriptions and very easy to understand. It especially teaches you how to make your creations look more 'alive' with colourful shadows. I think its useful for everybody." ( Featured by FantasyStock )
StrayTheTrue Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aaa I really needed this! Thank you!
berrybush1 Featured By Owner Edited Aug 28, 2018
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 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you improve every time you draw something, hun. Don't worry about it.
MelodyEclipseMLP Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I first like to cell shade amd then I blurr it all
Lemonakita Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome tutorial! Thank you so much!!
Stardust-Lilacs Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2018  Student 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 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Man, I love you! thank you so much
ViolentParoxysm Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
This is incredibly in-depth! Thank you so very much!
Shadzerios Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2017  Hobbyist 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: 
DubaiBunniesUAE Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2017
S-t-o-r-m-b-l-a-z-e Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2017
This is seriously amazing, thank you so much for making all these tutorials to help people!!
Zildon Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is really useful you know thank you so much ^^
RndomRPGer Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much!
Westerlund2 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome. Makes my life easier.
BeeProdigy Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I still found this very useful also. Thank you so much ^ 3 ^
nolmet Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2017
"This is quite old". Well, it's 2017 and this is still very useful. Thank you!
ChishioOchita Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is wonderful. Thank you!
Skryzein Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2016  Hobbyist 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 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2016  Hobbyist 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!
ISnowHeartI Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2016  Student Digital Artist
What texture or brush you use to make realism?
caprikrn Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2016  Student General Artist
Thank you so much!! Here's the piece you helped me create:…

And I'm going to attempt to play with the different colored lightings to change up the mood next time I do a full body piece o3o
caprikrn Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2016  Student General Artist
AGH the part about color lighting is bae
inu-vu Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i love you
SquiddRz Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016  Student General Artist
this was so darned helpful. wasn't even copying your style swell. this allows such perfect personalisation. thanks!
kadeey Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
This really helped me :) 
Luckyducky12 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2016
Well, this is an awesome bit of information! I'll certainly be using this for practice.
Reddtalon Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2016  Hobbyist
Hey this really cool that you bring up so many examples. Its good to see them all for comparison and a good quick reminder on shadow and shading principles. Thanks.
Dumb-Bunnies Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2016
Thanks, this will help my comics!
ZolaDeus Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you. Seriously. 
ketsamachan Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2016  Student General Artist
thank you!! I've perceived that I need to improve my shading and this is perfect!!
TheeLittleDreamer Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2016  Student General Artist
As for someone who really struggles with shading, this was very helpful!
Spirogs Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
this is INCREDIBLY helpful. Thank you for this.
omargabriel83 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2015
This is very useful
YinYangHeart Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is very helpful!
Backstrechrunner Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Love this <3
sonotRorix Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oooh this is very helpful. Thanks a bunch. c:
CrayzyWolfmoon Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
OMG! This is amazing work !  Thank you so much, you are master Dekomori Bowing Icon !
vvinterpaws Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you so much this is very helpful aaa ♥ :")
CloudDashieART Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is really helpful! thanks a lot!
Jamie5m Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this tutorial was amazing. thank you!! :)
spookymunchkin Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this helps a lot! thanks so much for this tutorial
aIqhys Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2015
Mmmmm thank u this was very helpful
WarriorsFight Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very mucb,it was realy helpful! :)
NoxiousWyvern Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is such a wonderful guide. Thank you!
Cloudy-Eevee Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This tutorial looks very helpful! It's interesting how shading can really change how a single picture looks, and I think you demonstrated that very well. :D
XylaOfSpades Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this so much! I can't shade for my life at the moment and I really think this will help me. ^^
Runya-Isamu Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey, um... I was just wondering if you had any suggestions for shading something when the light source is coming from both the front and the back? Like, for example, if someone's performing on stage, and there are lights both in front and in back. Where would I shade? ^^;
O-ruff Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2015
Awesome tutorial!Thank you very much!
JillWerewolf Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
What art program do you use?
skcolb Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015  Professional Filmographer
This is a very useful guide!
I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking to improve their use of shadow! :aww:
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Submitted on
August 4, 2011
Image Size
1.7 MB


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