Shading with Light and Form in Your Digital Painting



hey guys this is matt core from control paint comm and today we're going to do a little bit more on lighting and rendering and i'm going to do a quick sketch of this ear because as i've been hearing from you guys a lot of people are having trouble with their work feeling flat they just don't quite understand why it's not looking realistic in the way they want and nine times out of ten the answer is because of lighting in order to make things look three-dimensional to have form they have to be well lit but as a quick reminder if you look below the post you'll find links for free brushes and worksheets as well as in-depth premium series available in the control paint store so you can see i've started out with my sketch here with a line drawing on the right and that was drawn with one of the brushes i made in my custom brush design series in the layers set to multiply and for the first half i'm going to be drawing underneath that so I can get the structure blocked in and for this whole video I'm only going to be using one brush standard hard round with a bit of texture on it so it's going to be easy to render with but it's also going to have a little bit of textural grit to it there's a lot of different ways to approach rendering like this but I really like the templayer approach so I've got my value swatches here I'm going to start with the shadows so on a new layer I'm going to be painting in from hard to soft so I'll start on the hard edge render out the shadow shape concentrating and most on that way the hard edge looks and then as it transitions into the highlights shape I'll use a soft eraser to erase that away in fact I'll even put a little texture on my eraser just so it'll add a little extra grittiness okay so I'll make a new layer start from the hard edge and paint out towards the soft I'm going to race away the area I don't want and I find that starting with the shadows like this is a great way to anchor a painting in because you could theoretically start with the highlights if you wanted but there's something about starting with the shadows and then slowly building up to your brightest values that gives it a convincing look alright so this is basically the same steps that I'll be repeating over and over you've seen me do it before but let's get real for a second why am i drawn ears why all the greyscale it seems like this has nothing to do with concept art nothing to do with dragons all the fun stuff but look this is it this is how you get better it may not look fun but the truth is once you do it a little more it actually becomes fun because all you're doing is looking at light shadow and form you can describe anything visually with form adding things like color and texture will be nice and that's something you get to later but if you can't get this crucial step getting the shadows to look correct in order to create sort of a convincing three-dimensional form well then you'll never make the rest of the stuff work this is crucial if you were to go to art school they'd force you to go to a couple classes of drawing drawing one drawing two even if you are a film major oops this is an important part okay so now I'm halfway through I'm going to collapse everything down and start painting on top of my line art because it's all blocked ins I don't have to worry about the structure okay sorry back to my diatribe so this stuff is so important yes we are using a computer and that means we can break certain rules drawing this year in 10 minutes was a lot quicker than I could have done the same with charcoal and that's where Photoshop helps but you're only going to get the long-term results you want if you learn in the traditional way so even if you can't afford our school you still should mimic drawing one in drawing one you sit down on a wooden desk and draw still lifes everyday for hours it is boring but you get much better and the things you get better at are hard to quantify what you're doing is your training your eye to see shape value and form that's something that no Photoshop tutorial is going to help you get better at the only way to get better at it is looking at still lifes there's a term I've heard used called pencil mileage and the idea here is just simply sitting down at your desk drawing stuff is going to make you better over time and I really believe in that if you feel frustrated that your drawings aren't looking three-dimensional not looking realistic you probably just haven't spent enough hours look if there is an easy way to get better at this stuff some filter hidden somewhere in the menus I would have found it by now it's not there this is just pure practice it now it's careful practice don't get me wrong when I do studies like these I am NOT just phoning it in serving my time I am looking carefully and studying the surfaces but this sort of careful dedicated practice is really the only way to get the results you want in fact I think it's best to do just greyscale limit it down to pure form because once you understand form then you're in you can paint directly in color if you want but you'll be understanding values as you paint the coloring so not even advocating a grayscale to color workflow I'm simply advocating learning and internalizing form and really the only way to do that is lots of practice so I hope that in some way control paint can stand in as a drawing one for Photoshop in fact that's why I created the basic rendering for Photoshop series it is in some small part like a drawing one course because what I'm doing here is I'm drawing light and shadow but based on an understanding of how basic types of light work and that's what the basic rendering series is all about I talked about the difference between direct light or indirect light what's ambient occlusion because knowing about light and how to see its effects is really the secret to painting everything it's how you're going to paint Space Marines but this has to come first so get out there and practice your form practice your lighting and your value of course I'd encourage you to get the series found in the store which is exactly about these subjects but this is an old topic if you like learning from books better there's plenty of books on this in the library however you do it learn this object it is the foundation to everything else you're going to do in painting that's why you do it first at art school so good luck and thanks for watching guys

41 Replies to “Shading with Light and Form in Your Digital Painting”

  1. i dont find it boring,the shading was always my favorite part and make me excited so much….this tutorial showed me how much detailed have to be and make me want to draw so hard again ^^

  2. This looks like a beginner tutorial, but I think it's very important to show us what brush you are using. It's very difficult or impossible for a beginner to reproduce this brush and the beginner will be frustrated. I had to switch from Photoshop to CorelPainter and used Real 2B Pencil to get better result than with photoshop default brushes.
    Please show us how to create the brush you use in this tutorial and explain why it gives better result than default ones.

  3. На английском кстати в 10 раз лучше воспринимается, сам не могу понять почему.

  4. With all these tuts, I do not get the same results. Maybe because my settings. But it is making me crazzy.

  5. Hey Matt I don't really like to use layers or selection tools that much, there's a bunch of good artists who use neither so it's certainly possible but I'm wondering if you know any methods for rendering cleanly without the heavy reliance on layers/selections/alpha locks that you could share?

    Would mean a lot.

  6. Another great tutorial! Thank you so much for talking about the importance of light as it has to do with making "something come alive"! Your video's a quick and to the point. AWESOME!!!!!

  7. Hello, I am using Photoshop CS8 and I am unable to find Wrap Tool. Could you please help me?
    Thank you 🙂

  8. I'm having real trouble trying to replicate this kind of rendering (or any type for that matter). My brush strokes do not come out smokey and well toned like he is showing, each individual brush stroke is easily noticeable. Does anyone know what I am doing wrong?

  9. you are the best teacher here in youtube (for digital painting):
    confident, easy to understand, focused into the important parts.

    Thank you very much.

  10. your tutorials getting better and better… I am using Krita most of the time beside of photoshop, but the principles can be transferred to almost every good application for painting

  11. May I ask what are you exact setting for the brush? This is my biggest problem, I can't really move forward because I have no idea how to properly set my brushes so that I can get the more traditional effect. Thank you!

  12. Somebody please help me. I have spent two years and a half searching for that magical filter (endless hours of settings and filters) to almost no avail. Now, learning to draw the proper way, every time I start, my pride in all these hours and years spent tweaking with filters tells me to close the canvas page, open a photograph, and keep looking for a filter. I am addicted to filters, as though my pride does not want to recognise that all the hours spent dealing with useless filters had been for nothing, and tells me to keep on with filters, making me too stressed to start a normal painting.

  13. Huggs Thank you :<

    I know how to draw well, but i got stuck in the stage in-sketch to color, tearing my hair out, only to realize what i'm trying to color is now what i know to sketch, no form.

  14. One of my absolute favourite tutorials from you Matt! I can really feel your passion for the practice in what you're saying 🙂 Good job, please dont stop making videos!

  15. +Ctrl+Paint Yes pencil mileage, or as I call it the school.
    There is no better time to practice your art skills than when you are bored at school. 😀

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