Hiyo! Today’s gathering of tutorials will focus on an important aspect that will make your comics more realistic – the proper use of light/shade and how to determine your light source. By having a fixed light source in your drawings, you can create some really dramatic and moody effects with your artwork. Check out some of the tutorials I’ve listed below by a number of artists to learn how these folks achieve their lighting/shading effects in their comics.
Shading and Lighting a Basic Sphere
Miranda from Learn to Art has a beginner tutorial aimed at those learning the finer details of lighting and shading using a simple sphere. Try this out in a digital setting with your WACOM tablet and a Photoshop or Sketchbook Pro – the method is the same.
Light Sources in Different Settings
In this tutorial by M. Harris, you will learn 4 different methods for applying a light source to a drawing. The scenarios are – harsh fluorescent light, soft lamp light, bright outdoor lighting, and the glow of a handheld device. Each one has its own set of rules to follow.
The Science of Light and its Properties
Richard from itchy animation has written out this extremely detailed and informative article about the properties of light and the principles of drawing objects using various light sources. It may not be a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw objects using light and shadow, but you definitely need to read this to understand why light and shadows form on objects. By understanding the science behind it, you’ll understand how to draw it properly.
ICOPIC Light and Shading Tutorial
This video tutorial, courtesy of iCopic.com shows you how to apply light and shade (using Copic markers of course) to a line drawing of a fat chef. Many of the techniques explained here translate very well to digital drawing.
How to Create Light Sources from Various Directions in Photoshop
This video tutorial from Peachpit shows you how to apply different light sources in Photoshop with layer styles. Artist Bert Monroy shows you how to achieve some cool effects on digitally drawn artwork – this will come in handy in your coloring stage of your comic.
There’s your 5 tutorials to learn from – Light Sources can be tricky, but once you’ve mastered their use, your digital comics and drawings will be way more realistic and have a ton of depth. Try some of these out on your own comics, and you’ll see the quality increase dramatically – or try a different technique to your current style.