Shadows and Highlights

L

Lonekimono

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Hi, I was wondering if someone could give me some tips or point me in the right direction? Is there an easy way to explain how to shade or highlight? I am use to colored pencils. Airbrushing is very new to me. Here is a. Colored pencil drawing I am working on.
 

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highlights : you either keep en clean by masking them or you erase them back
shading : you build up the layers with transparent paintand work from dark to light
 
I would recommend exercises in monochrome gradients. The easiest way to learn in my opinion is to work with black and white and then transition into color. Take a color photograph and change it to grayscale in Photoshop or a similar photo editor and then study the the different shades produced and compare them to the color photo. You'll get a better understanding of how important the values are.


Edit:
Here's a couple examples.
c7cc36b235e363e4d2037ef368984eb6.jpg

0a468aabb03d2d5814991455be9b72d5.jpg

36ded6fc62784ebe1aec26e03c1c3db8.jpg

597e0a15170592260837e60b20091d97.jpg


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Last edited:
Ok I understand about highlights and shadows. I guess my real question would be. How to go about it using the airbrush is there certain ways or techniques to use?
 
Ok I understand about highlights and shadows. I guess my real question would be. How to go about it using the airbrush is there certain ways or techniques to use?

I have been practicing with geometric shapes just like in drawing 101 classes.

Basically I will work from very light to dark, applying layer over layer to achieve the gradient I want. I have yet to practice this in an actual piece but I work in a dent or a chip into the shapes as I go to "fix" mistakes and ease my way into more detailed work.

I still have a long way to go though so take that with a grain of salt. I'm sure the more experienced artists here will have better advice, I'm just trying to help with the little bit I do know. :)


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Very nice explanation Joe A, and you went the extra mile by including pictures. Well done
I would recommend exercises in monochrome gradients. The easiest way to learn in my opinion is to work with black and white and then transition into color. Take a color photograph and change it to grayscale in Photoshop or a similar photo editor and then study the the different shades produced and compare them to the color photo. You'll get a better understanding of how important the values are.


Edit:
Here's a couple examples.
c7cc36b235e363e4d2037ef368984eb6.jpg

0a468aabb03d2d5814991455be9b72d5.jpg

36ded6fc62784ebe1aec26e03c1c3db8.jpg

597e0a15170592260837e60b20091d97.jpg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Joe. Thanks for the tip. It is a good idea. I will definitely use it.
 
Most of us use an erasers or a exacto blade for highlighted areas by erasing or scratching the paint back to the paper,,as long as you do light passes with the paint and do it as you go it works well.There are a lot of post on how its done just use the search in the forum,as fow doing shadows just darken the base color with a darker color and build them up SLOWLY as its easy to go to dark
 
Just looked at your drawing and it looks like the light is coming from top left. So if you were painting that same picture you would make your shadows on the bottom right and right side in general the darkest, depending on how you paint is how you achieve it. I personally would start with either grey or burnt umber depending on the colour that will be on top, grey for colder colours unber for warmer. This works for transparent paints better. Highlights as Ronald said either protect them with masking or very careful airbrushing/ shielding or erase scratch back until you get the desired effect. Hope it helps a little.

Lee
 
Paint what you see in the reference..There is no real set method for producing either but an idea of the process below..In monchrome work there kind of is two basics, scrape it away back to white or close enough (If working on a white background) or paint the highlight in ( I like softe erasing but dont lke to scratch my work so I tend to paint in rather than take off, either way works well though..As to technique I usually am using a texture stroke like a figure 8..First you base the picture in your mid tone, next grab some lighter skin tone or grey if monchroming it..Work that in a texture stroke over the base, avoid adding to much texture or light skin tone into what will later be both your highlights and shadows, to begin with mainly work your midtone area's..Then grab a darker grey or skin toned color and work into your shadows with the same kind of stroke, detail your texture stroke as you get closer to camera your texture stroke is lessened in detail for your background (this is simply done by being closer or more distant from the surface)..then grab a lighter grey near white or related skin color tone and work that same texture into the highlighted area's..After those main layers you may hae a little mess..now its time to bring it all together with a transparent skin tone or a trans black if doing mono..Now from a distance blend all that crap together by using angle and starting at your shadows, lifting away towards your highlights so little more than dusts those area's..You can start real light but basically you just repaint the first base layer back over the top...This will clean and lay the texture into a feel of being all together and not separate elements floating on top of each other...If using opaques its really a case of doing similar to what you prob do in pencil work..Start by creating the base or road map of the image which is basically a simple dark light map, focus more on shaded areas and start painting in those areas as its easier to match your lights that way and if you bugger up, you'll just want to make it darker later as its a shadow area..Lots of good long vids on Youtube showing this method and essentially its the same method most will use in various mediums..

Extra tip, do not treat shadows and highlights as a separate element of the work to be added in at the end, you'll be amazed how many do..If you want your highlights and shadows to look natural they eed to produced whilst doing the work in whatever technique of taking away or adding paint

Good luck :)
 
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