Note: This is the first in a series of posts about learning how to shade. If you enjoy this one, follow me on Facebook and subscribe to my newsletter to get updates!
So you can draw. You can draw really well, actually. You can draw robots, superheroes, farm animals, landscapes of a dystopian future city, all kinds of stuff. And the line art looks totally badass. It’s just that…it’s only line art. You can’t take any of your drawings to the next level and make them look real. You can’t give them that presence that makes them seem like they’re actually realistic representations of things, ready to jump off the page, or send you on your way towards a lucrative illustration gig. In other words, you don’t know how to shade your drawings.
You see work by other artists, maybe industry professionals, or maybe just in someone’s Deviantart profile, that exhibits a firm understanding of shading and you feel the soul-crushing, existential agony of inadequacy. And the absolute worst part of it is, you want to get there, but you don’t know how. You’ve tried to get there. You’ve done your homework, looked around on the internet, consumed a lot of relevant material regarding shading, and light, and shadow, and tried to begin applying it to your own drawings. But it never looks believable, and it’s not getting better. You worry that some people just get it, and you’re not one of them. You’re starting to think about going to law school.
If anything in the above paragraph resonates with you, this is a post for you. I write this post in the hopes that it can be a beacon of light for those who, like I was, are completely at a loss as to how to move forward. I want this to be the post for others that I so desperately searched for myself.
I will be completely honest with you. What this post will do for you is shine a light on your path forward, show you what you need to do and more importantly make you believe that it’s in your capacity to do it. Self-confidence is a delicate thing, especially when it comes to art, and while reading this post may not solve your shading from imagination problems, I think it will go a long way towards boosting your faith in yourself and solidifying your resolve to push forward on your journey. Read More