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Digital painting tutorial – Spirited away – Part 3

Jonas Jödicke |

Traditional and digital artist and hobbyist from Germany. Draws book covers, CD-covers, illustrations, OC's, etc. For digital art he's using Photoshop CS4 and a Hanvon "Artmaster" tablet. For traditional art he is using Watercolors (from Schmincke), graphite pen, fineliners, markers. You can reach Jonas at:

This is a continue of Digital painting tutorial - Spirited away - Part 2.

Part 3: Simple shading (~ 1,5 hours)

In the simple shading step we want to define the general light sources and create the first illusions of depth. We will only use the soft edged round airbrush in this phase. Don’t be afraid to use references for shading and color choices! Below are detailed steps of part 3 – simple shading:

Step 1
First, turn on the opacity-jitter again. Now decide where the light should come from. The first light source is the moon, so the light will spread behind Haku. It has a cool, cyan tone. The second light source isn’t in the picture, but on the right upper side, spreading a warm orange-yellowish light (maybe a lantern?). It will reflect on the right side of Chihiro and Haku and will throw Chihiros shadow onto Haku’s fur. This step is only planning (on new layer).

Step 2
Now zoom in and gently paint in the basics shades and lights using the soft round airbrush in varying sizes (starting with Chihiro). Always paint on the masked layers so you won’t have to worry about painting over the edges. Use references to get the right tones. Make the lights rather yellowish and the shades more bluish.

Step 3
Like in step 2, go on with Haku + the moon. Always keep in mind how the light reflects and where it comes from.

We will continue with next part 4 - Complex Shading in following days, stay tuned.

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