Tama Art Guide - Shading

Joined: Mar 5 2008, 12:25 AM

Mar 21 2008, 04:22 AM #1

Para's Shading Tutorial
Want to learn how to shade? Well good. I want to teach you how to shade.

Sorry for the poor quality of the scans. I hope you can understand what's going on!

It's something that I avoided for a very long time, and then when I finally attempted, cried about in frustration. Shading really isn't that difficult once you've learned how it works! The smallest amount of shading know-how will improve any sort of drawing. From still lifes to Tamagotchis.

Practice makes better
If you don't get it the first time, don't worry about it. Practice makes better. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

Look at this drawing...

Which one of these do you find looks better? Kuromametchi? Mametchi?

It's Mametchi. Let me explain why.

Every shaded area of Kuromametchi looks like it has the same value. Value is the relative darkness or lightness of a color. The more range in Value a drawing has, the more form it will have. Here's an example of a value scale:

Kuromametchi seems to be one big flat muddy gray stone, while Mametchi looks more lively and three dimentional.

You can see a difference between Mametchi's low key value black (or dark blue depending on the picture) ears and high key value yellow body. Using good value is almost like seeing color in grayscale. The darker the color, the lower the value, and the higher the value, the lighter the color.

Light Sources
Kuromametchi seems very flat compared to Mametchi. Putting a dark stripe on one side of a shape and a light stripe on the other does not neccissarily make it look three dimentional. See, Kuromametchi's head isn't a circle, but a sphere. To shade a sphere (or anything and everything) first you have to find the light source. Is it coming from the left or the right? For the back or infront? You can have many, but it's much more difficult than just having one to keep track of. If you have a desk lamp, turn it on with all other lights off and stick a ball or another object underneath and see what happens.

Now, Tamagotchis are cartoony and usually not shaded to the extent that the ball on the right is shaded. To simplify, I keep the darkest shadows and make everything else the base color.. For my style, I normally don't have a highlight, but you can also keep the lightest part. I lighten up my dark shadow, too. I don't want too much contrast between the base color and the shadow.

Shading a Whole Figure
Think of a Tamagotchi as a lego figure, or a pile of shapes when you're shading.

Not only do the simple shapes help with anatomy and posing, but it makes it easier to tell where the lights and darks will be. The Kuromametchi on the right is a good example of what a Tamagotchi might look like when it's shaded with anatomy shapes and light sources in mind.

The End! Go practice!!
Thanks for reading all about shading.
Look out for a silly tutorial on Tamagotchi anatomy coming when I have some free time!