Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
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
Add a Comment:

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 )
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
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? ^^;
KateOkami 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  Student Filmographer
This is a very useful guide!
I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking to improve their use of shadow! :aww:
larnacy Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks so much!
SnowyArctics Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2015
wow, thx so much! this tuturial is PERFECT! <33333
TheMeekWarrior Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautiful! :dummy: This is very useful and I already have used some of these methods, but I'll try out some more things, maybe download some brushes. This is very helpful! Thank you!
Svelgeta Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Im sorry, which brush is used here? 
LaDarkA117 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Student Filmographer
that tutorial :iconwhutplz:


thankx a lot :>
choccybiccy Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Really good light source reference, this is something I struggle with a lot especially with cartoony characters and to have it spelled out so clearly is great. Thanks! 
Link-Tesla Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
"The best way to judge where the shading should fall is it think of the subject as a 3-D object..."

Huh?  How do you that?  I can only mentally perceive two dimensions.
AmethystSpark Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OMG so cool!A lot of possibilities!
You helped me with this :3
Ikiuni Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for this tutorial. :la: Especially the "3D grid" thing. For me it has always been hard to "keep the light source still" (if that makes any sense XD) and I am excited to try that tip out. ^^
Iszryl Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014
Wow! That's amazing, thanks a lot! :)
hunterN05 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is very helpful! :D
barnowlgurl23 Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is helping me a lot 
BlueDuskWolf Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
this helped alot thanks ^^ 
beautiful work too 
Crywolfix Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:D This was a really good help to me :) And your shading style is really awesome ^^  
Crimson-Wolf2323 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
RumpledRaven Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you so much for making this. I had forgotten about the whole shadow/lighting thing and what a difference it makes to pieces Dx
Must learn how to do this, hehe.
Kumkrum Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a fantastic tutorial and really helpful, thank you so much for creating it!
ToxcityX Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
ReddyArts Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014   Digital Artist
You are my hero. Thank heavens, I've found you!!
c0nifer-Rain Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
God bless this post
Randamu-Chan Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
iSpazzyKitty Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This was very helpful.  Thank you for making this, and I think I even want to link you the next picture I make (which I am trying to really think about how shading and lighting work for) and see what you think. :D  Again, awesome tutorial! ^^
BeIIPaws Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really helpful X3 thanks!
sorenshadow Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This be awesome.
Sladin5Ever Featured By Owner May 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you oh so much for putting the different light sources in because that is what I have the most trouble with
AbdouBouam Featured By Owner May 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for this awsome tutorial :D
it will help me in drawing and the little mesh grid will help me in 3d modeling
foxstory Featured By Owner May 14, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thank you!  The erase-away painterly shading is my new usual technique.
BkSp Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
holy sweet jesus.
xKittyRaver Featured By Owner May 3, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Friggi'n helpful!! :la: :heart: :hug:
Ever-Bliss Featured By Owner May 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
you're the best! :happybounce: 
NoriLaurikeet Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
First off: I love how you included many different styles of shading in this tutorial. It seems like it would be really helpful for people searching for their own style to see what kind of shading they would like to go for in their different pictures. I do have one question (not really pertaining to the shading style xD) Did you do this whole drawing on Photoshop? Coming off of drawing on my ipad with an app called Procreate, I just got a new drawing tablet (Wacom intuos Pen & touch) and it came with some free programs etc. I've tried them out and I'm definitely still getting used to the feel of it. Is there programs you would recommend? Thank you so much either way for reading this~ And I love your work!
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
August 4, 2011
Image Size
1.7 MB


222,517 (32 today)
18,647 (who?)
5,329 (1 today)