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Author Topic: I am a man who can NOT draw shadows.  (Read 4156 times)

Gdog4evr

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I am a man who can NOT draw shadows.
« on: 23 Mar 2005, 08:42 »

So, I've recently taken up drawing, nothing major just some doodling (though I've mostly stopped doing it while in class).  I'd possibly consider making some form of comic when my level of skill progressed beyond "ass".  

But, in continuing with the experimentation, I tried some techniques I'd read about for doing a web comic,  to see if I could pull off anything nifty.  I have decided the hardest thing to do is shadows.

Take, for instance, the following:


A fairly odd superhero type character (long story on that one), the first thing you'll notice completly bad about this picture is that his posture dosn't make any sense.  Originally it was really dramatic, like he was out flying and had decided to crash through a window to land on the floor, which seemed really cool at the time.  Unfortunatly, because the trench coat (seemed better than a standard cape) is hanging straight down, it appears he isn't moving in any dramatic fashion at all, like he's just standing there.  Despite this obvious flaw, I continued on for the sake of progress, trying to add shadows.

I now hate doing shadows:



So how do you guys do shadows? Is there any way to figure out how to do it with some kind of precision, or is this another one of those things that just takes a ton of practice?

And, of course, feel free to critique my work, both shadows and in any other way.  I can also post more of my attempts if anyone would be interested.
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torg

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I am a man who can NOT draw shadows.
« Reply #1 on: 23 Mar 2005, 10:55 »

well...it doesnt take so much practise. it takes more THINKING and LOOKING...
shade that parts of a character that are turned away from the light source.  so, if your lightsorce is on the right side, shade the left side of your character.  take an arbitrary object and hold it next to a light source and look, what parts are darker... (works best with only one small lightsource in a dark room)
i also suggest looking at some coloring tutorials, usually thge shading is covered there, too.

edit: a quick 2-minute-shading to show you, what i meant...

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Hoborg

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I am a man who can NOT draw shadows.
« Reply #2 on: 24 Mar 2005, 20:56 »

Draw some things from real life. Well... draw a lot of things from real life! Seriously, just sketch random objects and stuff you see laying around and pay attention to the way light hits it. Draw some pictures where you draw the shades of an object rather than concentrating on line and shape. You may think 'bah this is boring I want to draw comics' but comics are really just abstract life drawings, and knowing how to draw real things will help you enormously.
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bev

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I am a man who can NOT draw shadows.
« Reply #3 on: 26 Mar 2005, 07:47 »

Not much I can add onto what's already been said, but I have had to deal with the same problem. Sometimes I screw it up and don't get it right, but if that happens there are tricks to make it look right, even if it's not realistically right. I guess the problem with your shadow pic is that the shadows don't follow the contures of the human body, and there's clearly not enough. This is about the best pic I've done in a long time and while the shadows are not perfect I did spend a while on them...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v394/dunasmelly/thegangwall.jpg

Don't forget, shadows are only half the problem, remember highlights too. What is reflective, what isn't....
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maxusy3k

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I am a man who can NOT draw shadows.
« Reply #4 on: 26 Mar 2005, 07:53 »

Can't really provide advice on the shadow thing, but I thought your superhero guy looked like he was leaning against a wall or something.
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Staplegun

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I am a man who can NOT draw shadows.
« Reply #5 on: 26 Mar 2005, 09:30 »

Definitely try to draw from life.
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Gdog4evr

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I am a man who can NOT draw shadows.
« Reply #6 on: 27 Mar 2005, 19:23 »

Sorry I didn't reply sooner, I was gone for the weekend and without internet.

Torg: Awesome work on the shadows, that is infinatly better than what I tried to do.

All Others: I think you guys are right, I'll just have to venture outside and focus on shadows for a bit, figure out how shadows curve to follow things.  

Maxusy3k:  A friend of mine had an alternate concept of what the super hero guy was doing, which he posted:



Oh yea, Suspension of Disbelief (for that is his name) is all about the limbo.
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ElRodente

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Ruskin

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I am a man who can NOT draw shadows.
« Reply #8 on: 01 May 2005, 18:02 »

You will need:
A gooseneck lamp (2 for advanced technique)
A stuffed animal
Paper, pencil(s)

Take your stuffed animal, and try drawing it, with the shading where you think it would go, if the light was right above it.
Now, put it under a gooseneck lamp, pointing directly down. Now draw the stuffed animal again, this time filling in the shading where you see it.
Now draw it again, with the proper shading, with the lamp in a different position, preferably above and to one side.
Try to see patterns, etc, of gradient light, but most importantly for manga-style drawing, cel-shading, and of course, pixel artists, is where the main divisions between shadow and light are. Also pay close attention to where highlights are. They are just as important a part of shading as shadows.
Experiment with distance and its effect on shadows, as well.

If you're feeling REALLY fancy, and have a second gooseneck lamp handy, use both lamps, in different positions, and try and see what the shading is like with two distinct light sources. Experiment with different distances of the these light sources also, perhaps one close, one more distant. Have fun.
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McTaggart

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I am a man who can NOT draw shadows.
« Reply #9 on: 02 May 2005, 03:43 »

I use a camera :P.
Setting up lighting is fun when you don't have a nearly professional set-up. All sorts of great tricks like spray-painting umbrellas white and silver, covering walls with pieces of white A4 paper and hanging things from the roof to create shadows. Computer screens are great for getting moderately diffused light on an object. I need money for fancy flashes...
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