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My latest course on shading explains how to create realistic lighting using Photoshop. The beautiful part is that the information taught in the course applies to any subject and any medium. The shading techniques course is more than a slick demo or a Photoshop tutorial. It’s core, fundamental principles and concepts of realistic light and shadow.
In this article, I’ll demonstrate how to apply shading techniques to a portrait. See video below for a portrait shading demonstration from a recent ‘Draw With Chris’ Livestream. Photoshop is the medium used in the video. Oil paint is used in the demo for the text version below.
For complete, step by step breakdown, read on…
Portrait Shading Process
STEP 1: Smart observation
The first step is to make careful observation of the subject. In this case we have a female model with beautiful high contrast lighting. This lighting is the best for practicing shading, rendering and edge control. For more on lighting models and choosing reference, see this article on good lighting and choosing good reference.
This image is perfect for studying and practicing shadow because of the beautiful high contrast light. The shadows are nice and dark and clearly defined.
I’m proud to present this new and exciting course. Shading Techniques in Photoshop is simply the BEST course available on shading and rendering in Photoshop.
Students will learn how to shade and render their drawings using professional level techniques and strategies. Students will be guided through the shading process step by step by an expert instructor (that’s me :)). Along with the lectures and instructor demonstration, there are powerful handouts to help the students review as they go through the course.
The course has over 2 hours(!) of video at 1080p HD! There’s also pdf handouts and other bonus items. This course is a tremendous value for the low price. Take your drawing and painting to the next level, get Shading Techniques and learn how to shade and render today!
The ability to compose pictures is a fundamental skill for an artist to develop, and a powerful tool for creating compelling and memorable artwork. A method I’ve used to develop my own compositional skills is to study tonal composition.
This tutorial will demonstrate the tonal composition study process in detail, from principles to execution. For a summary, watch the video playlist below or continue reading for the full article.
One of the most important concepts to know and understand as a visual artist is that pictures, scenes and still images are arrangements of value; light, dark and gray shapes. It’s these light, dark and gray shapes that the human mind assembles as a cohesive picture.
Being able to see the world as shapes of value, especially colored shapes and objects, is a master skill to cultivate as a visual artist. It’s important to the artist because in order to compose and arrange shapes in our pictures, we must first see and understand their inherent grayscale value.
The most basic and abstract pattern of dark and light shapes (A) is the first ‘read’ the mind makes. This happens on a visceral, almost subconscious level. As more information is processed, like details and color, the mind can then assemble a more refined and sophisticated image (D).
How do we train our eyes to see the world in value? There are some very simple strategies we can use when we observe the world around us. The first step is to learn how to deal with color information.
To see these strategies in action, watch the video below or continue reading for the in-depth breakdown.
In this final episode of the Concept Art tutorial series we add the finishing touches to our creature concept. We will paint the last bit of polish and detail and also create a simple background and make our concept presentable. We take the concept to the final stage so it can be handed off to production or as a marketing illustration. Narrated by the artist.
In part 5 of the Concept Art Tutorial series, we add texture. Using a combination of photographs, photo manipulation, and Photoshop blending modes we seamlessly add texture to our creature design. This technique will quickly add a nice layer of texture, detail and color variation. Narrated by the artist.
In part 4 of the Concept Art Tutorial series we add glazes of color to our tonal underpainting. We’ll use the color theory and strategies from the last video to create depth, model form and bring our creature design to life. This video demonstrates how to use blending modes and layers to add a transparent wash, or glaze, of color while preserving the tones and values established in the previous tutorial videos. Narrated by the artist.