I received a lot of questions asking about my rendering technique, and requested by some of you to make a tutorial. So here you go, a simple tutorial on how I render skintone.
1. Start with rough sketch.
2. Going to detail. I like to experiment with basic shading at this stage, to design lighting and make sure the value, space and perspective is correct.
3. Create new layer, draw the OUTLINE by using Wacom tablet and default brush tool in Photoshop. Fluid thin to thick line can be created with pen pressure.
4. Fill in the body with neutral skin color under the outline layer.
5. Pick a darker tone of the skin, create a new layer on top of neutral skin color and apply SHADOW by using airbrush.
6. Create new layer between neutral skin tone and shadow, apply MIDTONE shading.
7. Create another layer on top of shadow, apply CORE SHADOW with darker tone.
8. Apply HIGHLIGHT on a new layer between neutral skin tone and midtone. Lock transparent pixel for each shading layer, adjust color value with airbrush and gradient tool.
Create a new layer(how many layers already?) on top of core shadow, specify the blending mode for the layer to screen/overlay, and apply reflected light. Reflected light is optional, but it helps enhance 3d effect of the subject.
9. Final touches: Adjust outline color to match skin color. Change overall color and level with adjustment layer. Add minor details like backlight and texture if needed.
And here we have it! Hope you guys like it!
Check out more illustrations:
8->9 is a huge change tho.
1. In step 9, you mentioned adjusting the outline color to match the skin color... Is there a certain way to do that? I remember when I tried coloring my outline on the lineart layer, it just comes out rather sloppy and unseemly... So I was wondering if there was a trick for it lol.
2. The Gradient shading method? Is there a certain way how you do that?
3. On textures, do you recommend using Paint Bucket textures (Texture pattern) or texture brushes?
1. To adjust the outline color consistently, you can do it with image>adjustment>hue/saturation>lightness and then image>adjustment>color balance (Remember to lock transparent pixel). I personally prefer paint it manually, easier to control.
2. Again, lock transparent pixel of the layer you're working on. Select gradient tool(I usually use linear gradient tool), adjust blending mode and opacity according to your need. and then apply.
3. I prefer texture brushes. I personally don't like to apply too much texture. Keep it minimal, or no texture at all. I occasionally apply them on certain fabric and object with rough surface, or dirt and bloodstain.
I'm terrible on tutorial or stuff like this, I hope I answered your questions.
I'm not good at CG style shading. So, this is gonna be very helpful.
I use SAI though... but I think I can still do this with SAI.