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Lighting + Shading: Make your Art Shine!

with Maria Lia Malandrino
4.9 (57)
In this course Maria teaches you about shading and lighting and shows you how to make the most out of a character in a scene!
English English, French [Auto], 1 more Spanish [Auto]
1+
hours
8
lessons
Intermediate
level
Maria Lia Malandrino

Your Instructor

Maria is an illustrator and story artist from Turin, Italy. She has a BA degree in Magazine Publishing from the University of the Arts London, has studied Traditional Animation at the International School of Comics in Turin and attended a masterclass in Storyboarding at the online school CGMA.

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1+
hours
8
lessons
Intermediate
level
English
English, French [Auto] , 1 more
Subtitles
  • Spanish [Auto]

What you’ll learn

  • Learn about the main theories behind shading and lighting
  • Learn to use layers, blending settings and tools in Procreate
  • Learn how to set up your canvas in Procreate
  • Learn how to draw different types of shadows on a character's body
  • Learn about 2-point and 3-point lighting setups
  • How dramatic lighting setups will make your character pop out
  • How to use gradients to alter the perception of the time of day
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Description

Lighting and shading may take up only about 20% of the time you put into a drawing, but they will impact 80% of how that drawing is perceived!

Good lighting and shading can turn a simple doodle into an eye-catching drawing, drawing the viewer’s eye to specific areas of your artwork and making the colours really pop!

In this course Maria shows you practical examples using the Procreate app on the iPad Pro, but the general rules are applicable to any digital painting software and tablet.

You will review some theories behind shading and lighting and will have fun practicing with different types of shading settings, lighting setups and gradients.

Note that to take this class you should be familiar with digital tools like Procreate app and other digital drawing elements like sketching, flat colouring and layers. If you need brushing up on some of them, we highly recommend you first take Maria’s course “How to Draw a Cartoon Character“.

Assignment: Create a beautiful artwork with an interesting lighting setting

This is your chance to experiment with different lighting settings!

  • Step 1: Choose a piece from your own production, use the provided psd file or quickly produce a doodle to use as the starting point for your lighting and shading practice.
  • Step 2: Apply 1 point lighting and figure out form and cast shadows on your character
  • Step 3: Apply 2 point lighting and figure out form, cast shadows and rim light
  • Step 4: Choose a specific time of day (or more than one, it’s up to you!) to create some environmental lighting effects

If you wanna post your results on social media don’t forget to tag Maria for a shoutout! You can find her at:

Good luck, but especially, have fun!

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This course includes

  • 1+ hours of on-demand videos
  • 7 dramatic light example pictures (JPG)
  • 1 practice character PSD with sample lighting layers
  • 1 assignment included

Requirements

  • A digital drawing software, like Photoshop (any version), the Procreate app for iPad (used in this tutorial) or any other similar software is required.
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Lesson Plan

with Maria Lia Malandrino
Expand all sections
01

Introduction

01:42

Maria Malandrino introduces herself and her new tutorial on shading and lighting, a drawing stage that can have a huge impact on the viewer’s perception of an artwork!

After reviewing some theories behind shading and lighting, Maria will show you how an artwork can be affected and improved by good lighting. She will also teach you how to use layers and blending settings in Procreate to achieve the results you expect.

In this tutorial Maria will use Procreate app on iPad Pro, but the basic principles of the course hold good for any other tablet and drawing software.

02

Preparation

01:35

Before getting started you first need to set up your canvas in Procreate.

In this lesson Maria will show you how to create the type of canvas that best suits your needs in terms of shape, size and DPI (to ensure your image prints sharp and crisp).

Then, you will be able to import  a flat colour image into your canvas or use the available psd file. You can also sketch something out on the canvas right before getting started.

   1 practice character PSD with sample lighting layers.

03

Theory Shadows

04:55

Before practicing with shading and lighting it’s better to review some basic rules on how a shadow is formed. In this lesson Maria illustrates two main types of shadows, the cast shadows and the form shadows. She also provides some examples of how they appear and differ, depending on the source of light that generates them.

04

Practice Shading

04:17

Here Maria will pick one of her own artworks as reference image to demonstrate the cast and form shadows.

She will guide you through the steps of duplicating layers, creating a clipping mask and using blending modes in Procreate. She will also show you how a little bit of planning can help you stay on track throughout the entire creative process.

By watching this tutorial you will learn how to draw different types of shadows on a character’s body, to select the best tones and brushes, to modulate the opacity and change the shading settings according to the light source and the time of day.

05

Theory Light

04:55

In this lesson you will learn how to make the most out of a character in a scene using a common photographic setup called 2-point lighting. You will get familiar with lighting principles and  concepts such as the key light, the fill light and the rim light (3-point lighting), and will see how they are used in some practical examples.

06

Practice Lighting

10:48

Now it’s time to watch Maria’s demo and practise with the 2-point and 3-point lighting setups.

In this tutorial Maria will show you how to use layers and blending settings (Overlay) in Procreate to draw the light on the areas that are reached and variously affected by it.

You will learn how to use complementary colours, adjust opacity, erase and refine some areas of your artwork to achieve the desired effect.

07

Practice Dramatic Lighting

14:47

In this tutorial Maria is going to use a close-up of the character she created in her course “How to Draw a Cartoon Character” to practice some examples of dramatic lighting, i.e. a type of lighting that adds to the visual interest of a portrait or an artwork. 

Using layers, blend mode types and adjustment tools in Procreate, Maria will demonstrate special lighting setups that make a character pop out or draw attention to a detail, such as light coming from the side or from below and obstruction.

   7 dramatic light example pictures (JPG) included

08

Gradients + Wrap-up

07:10

In this final lesson you can see how Maria creates and uses gradients to alter the perception of the time of day, to set the desired mood and atmosphere of the scene and to add more colour variation to a character.

Student Feedback

57 customer reviews & ratings

4.9

Course rating

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5 star
90 %
4 star
9 %
3 star
2 %
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Best Suited for
Intermediate
The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

(Based on 57 reviews)

Most Liked
Clarity of Instruction 35
Helpful Examples 32
Great step-by-step process 31
Showing 10 reviews of
57
reviews & ratings
GK
Gurnain K.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved the course. 5 stars! Maria shows us how to achieve a wide variety of lighting setups with proper demos. Her demo file is even better when it comes to increasing your understanding of the concept. I only wish they could highlight the cursor on the screen for better visual ease w
+ Show more
hen you need to follow what the artist is saying on the screen. It gets very tricky in the middle of an elaborate demo. You need to keep replaying in order to understand the concept fully.
6 people found this helpful
SH
Sajjad H.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
This course was very good in showing the lighting and shading techniques and it was very helpful to me. Thank you Maria
3 people found this helpful
MD
Matt D.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
I think Maria is a great instructor. Excellent length of time per subject with great step-by-step instruction while providing multiple examples. And the fact that she used Kaladin from The Stormlight Archives as a character for her examples is just epic!
I recommend it for Intermediate
1 person found this helpful
LD
Lisa D.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
I loved all of it
1 person found this helpful
PC
Paulo C.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
So far, the best and most clear online class I've seen regarding lighting on characters, I can't help but thank you for helping me make my designs look better!!!!
1 person found this helpful
DH
Dave H.

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
helped me lock down an approach to shading, i think my work is looking much better after
1 person found this helpful
G
Gurnain

1 year ago

Verified Purchase
This course is an absolute gem for beginner digital artists. Though you need to be fairly comfortable working with layers and features of Procreate before you go for this class. However, for people who want to enhance their knowledge of lighting, this is a pretty well rounded short course. I really
+ Show more
enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to more such short constructive classes. Great job 21 draw! Please add more 1 hour long additional learning courses like these!
1 person found this helpful
MP
Maegen P.

7 months ago

Verified Purchase
Really excellent breakdown of multiple approaches to shading and light. I use Photoshop and CSP, and I followed along very easily despite everything being demonstrated in Procreate. Recommended for those who struggle with lighting, as well as those with slightly more experience who could benefit fro
+ Show more
m a refresher course on some clean, straightforward techniques.
I recommend it for Intermediate
1 person found this helpful
S
Susan

9 months ago

Verified Purchase
Incredibly good course - great workflow. Especially enjoyed special lighting for different times of day.
I recommend it for Advanced
1 person found this helpful
T
TK

3 months ago

Verified Purchase
Thanks a lot for your lessons.
I recommend it for Intermediate
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About the Instructor

Maria Lia Malandrino
Character Designer, Story Designer & Illustrator 5 courses

Maria is an illustrator and story artist from Turin, Italy. She has a BA degree in Magazine Publishing from the University of the Arts London, has studied Traditional Animation at the International School of Comics in Turin and attended a masterclass in Storyboarding at the online school CGMA.

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Each class includes 10-20 video lessons that are 7 minutes long on average. Most classes include exercise sheets, assignments, and layered PSD or PNG files.

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