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Submitted on
January 31, 2012


43 (who?)
This is how I normally shade when I am doing references for my HaRPG stuff :] I will not answer any questions about this! Why? Because there is nothing more to see, this is a very simple method with no hidden tricks or secrets, it literally is impossible for me to be further in depth about my process xD The explanations to each step are in the deviation :]

Step One: Base colour layer

base colour layer by billygoatsgruff

Step Two: Shadow layer step one

Shadow Layer by billygoatsgruff

Step Two: Shadow layer step one and a half

shadow layer step one and a half by billygoatsgruff

Step Two: Shadow layer step two

shadow layer step two by billygoatsgruff

Step Three: Mid-tones step one

mid tones step one by billygoatsgruff

Step Three: Mid-tones step two

Mid tones step two by billygoatsgruff

Step Four: Highlights step one

highlights step one by billygoatsgruff

Step Four: Highlights step two

highlights step two by billygoatsgruff

Some closing notes:

As you might have noticed I try not to use the same colours to shade/highlight as the base coat. If you have ever looked at your shadow during the afternoon its not actually grey or black but usually a light blue/purple or maybe even a darker grey-blue/purple if its cloudy. I also never EVER use straight black for any of my images. True white and black does not exist in nature, and this is something many people forget or do not realize, and you should NEVER use flat white/black to shade or highlight! Not only will your pictures look unnatural but it generally looks really weird when you use them. Always experiment with the colours you use! When I shade I tend to stick to blues/purples/greens/pinks depending on the horses base coat and for highlights I tend to stick with light oranges/yellows/blues/purples, and highlights tend to be any colour that looks best. For brushes I use the water tool and the blur tool in SAI, in PS it would roughly equate to using the pen tool and the smudge tool (if memory serves me correctly). I strongly encourage you to experiment with different brushes, styles and colours :D ~
  • Mood: Adoration
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Alright, I used this :)
[link] Aureo Dell'Angelo was the first attempt using this shading style.
[link] Stiletto was the second, and I think I had it down a bit better by then.
Looks great! Lighter colours & greys always give me a ton of trouble! its hard finding a good colour to shade with for them since they're so neutral (it always takes me /forever/ to figure it out lol). They look really nice, I'm glad you enjoy using the method. Once you get more accustomed to it you'll be able to start adding your own twists! Can't wait to see :)
Been using this technique for shading my horses now lol (not the backgrounds, though, just the horses)
In case you wanted to see my progression.. I'm becoming a little less intimidated by dark shadows with each picture.
So.. here is all the art I've used this technique on, in order from oldest to most recent :D
Apollo [link]
Stilts [link]
Phantom [link]
Faery Fiyre [link]
Moros [link]
Fate [link]
Kydoimos X Medley [link]
Fate X Araishia [link]
and planning to post the foals of the two breedings soon, which will also be in this style.
looks amazing! I love how much expression your horses have, they're so energetic looking.

Thank you for showing me your progress, its really neat to see other people use this style :) I'm glad you like it so much!
Are there any particular colors for shading, midtones, and highlights that you use for different color horses?
Really liking that purply color on the reds, its real pretty
Generally I stick to using grey-ish blue for most horses, sometimes for bays/chestnuts/browns I will do a second shadow layer in grey-purple to kind of give it a different tone to the shadow, and make it stick out a bit more. I don't like using oranges/yellows/reds for shadows, unless its a chestnut/bay, and I really only use those with the blue-grey shadow layer to make them look like they have a very rich, deep coat. You could probably use green with some colours but personally I've never tried it.
I'm going to give this shading method a try, I think it would work best with my personal style from the other methods I've seen and tried to use
Can't wait to see how it turns out!
thinking I'll give it a shot when I update the refs for my horses
swagstag Apr 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Check this. My first attempt, rather crappy but oh well: [link]
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