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Tutorial - Skin tone by silverjow Tutorial - Skin tone by silverjow

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!

Final Artwork: 

FuriousFotog and Caylan Hughes by silverjow 

Check out more illustrations: 
Pat Lee and Steve Moriarty fanart by silverjow SJ mag - Chris Redfield by silverjow Merman Sven by silverjow 
Add a Comment:
 
:iconhjordang:
hjordang Featured By Owner May 19, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Stupid Me!Stupid Me! Awesome!!! Stupid Me!Stupid Me!Stupid Me!Stupid Me! Stupid Me!
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:iconphantomiced:
PhantomIced Featured By Owner May 16, 2017
This is what i needed. Thanks
Reply
:iconxakiru:
Xakiru Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Isn't this the basic natural technique for coloring?
8->9 is a huge change tho.
Reply
:iconmickeysood:
MickeySood Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks
Reply
:iconlorddaroth:
LordDaroth Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Saved for references^^
Reply
:iconsaiyuki-chan:
Saiyuki-chan Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2016
Amazing. I was wondering about some techniques for the tablet. I'm workin on it but it just doesn't seem to go right some days. This this will help. At least to get started. Just gorgeous work.
Reply
:iconstewartnash:
stewartnash Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2016
Thanks so much for the tutorial! I love your work.
Reply
:iconthestronggladiator:
TheStrongGladiator Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Very impressive and hardcore!!!
Reply
:iconmetalhatsune:
MetalHatsune Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2016
Loving this!
Reply
:iconzacwolfdotcom:
zacwolfdotcom Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for walking through you technique!
Reply
:iconmehdianim:
mehdianim Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow that's some pretty slick rendering. Thanks for sharing your process !! :dummy:
Reply
:iconstripes-the-raccoon:
Stripes-the-Raccoon Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Out of curiosity, what settings is your airbrush at? As with the gradient tool
Reply
:iconuzkteguii:
Uzkteguii Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I love you <3 
Reply
:iconprettyplumpandproud:
PrettyPlumpandProud Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2015  Student Digital Artist
so you only use blend modes for reflected light? I've gotten so used to using multiply and screen/overlay for all my shading that I'm having trouble unlearning that for more professional rendering techniques.
Reply
:iconwillhorn:
Willhorn Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2015   General Artist
Its a very helpful tut, thx for this :)
Reply
:icontorytatsumaki:
torytatsumaki Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
awesome tutorial XD!  thanks a lot XD! 
Reply
:iconphatcub:
phatcub Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow...very good information.
Reply
:iconrebellinglemming:
RebellingLemming Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you b/s of this, I know what I forgot, 3d of the body, when I draw 
Reply
:iconm-a-f-u-y-u:
M-a-f-u-y-u Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2015  Hobbyist
Haven't tried using airbrush yet.
Reply
:iconn0-username:
n0-username Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
The Monkey With the Nosebleed 
Reply
:iconhiddensword:
HiddenSword Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Been wondering how you're doing the tones. Thanks for sharing this, mate!
Reply
:iconbasch1983:
basch1983 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2015
I'll definitely have to try this out next time I work digitally! Awesome tutorial and much appreciated!
Reply
:iconcaoscreator:
Caoscreator Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2015
Amazing technique. Thanks for sharing
Reply
:iconzoladeus:
ZolaDeus Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh dear lord thank you!!!! I needed help with this so badly! Thank you so very much Silver. 
Reply
:iconbfgm:
BFGM Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for this!!! I was really hoping you would do a simple tutorial!! :D
Reply
:iconpppub:
PPPub Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2015  Hobbyist
I really love your work.   This is so helpful. (Coming from someone who rarely works in color)
Reply
:iconsonic260:
Sonic260 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for posting this. It's definitely made coloring digitally easier, as someone who mostly works with traditional art.
Reply
:iconratchetjak:
RatchetJak Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really thank ou for positing such a helpful tutorial. Your shading/highlighting always comes out so smooth and rich and I've been curious to see what your process is. I have to ask three things though if you don't mind?

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?
Reply
:iconsilverjow:
silverjow Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks and sure! 

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. 
Reply
:iconratchetjak:
RatchetJak Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So sorry for the belated reply. Thanks for the tip though just to reiterate on "1", do you change the image>adjustment>hue/saturation>lightness on the lineart layer only?
Reply
:iconsilverjow:
silverjow Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No. continue with image>adjustment>color balance
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:iconratchetjak:
RatchetJak Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh okay, thank you :)
Reply
:iconxfan97:
xfan97 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh wow, I thought you used a hard brush for your art. Nice tutorial :)
Reply
:iconkensoudojo:
Kensoudojo Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for posting such an awesome tutorial :3
Reply
:iconforce-of-will:
Force-of-Will Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2015
lol I would have been happy once I got to 7. :P
Reply
:iconduducaico:
duducaico Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's cool of you to share your coloring method. Thanks for that, much apreciated
Reply
:iconsynergy-toh:
Synergy-Toh Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
thank you so much for this!!! I've been looking for a really helpful tutorial on digital painting, and I think I struck gold on this. You're fantastic!
Reply
:iconzillabean:
zillabean Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
This is very very helpful and informative!  Thank you for taking the time to share!
Reply
:iconvictones:
Victones Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015
WOW this is awesome! And will help a lot thank you! 
Reply
:iconcookx5453:
CookX5453 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the tutorial.  I just tried it.  It really helped me out a lot.  
Reply
:icongriffon3d:
griffon3d Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015
great thank's for the tips
Reply
:iconthejuicer987:
TheJuicer987 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Great tutorial man!
Reply
:iconitsminosart:
ItsMinosArt Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice tutorial!! Thaaanks!! :love:
Reply
:iconzephleit:
zephleit Featured By Owner Edited Jul 29, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Seriously, Silver. Step 2 is already advanced shading. :P

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.
Reply
:icondorayakichan:
Dorayakichan Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015
It's very useful, thanx Joe! Just not sure if I'm able to use them all.... :p
Reply
:iconalbron111:
albron111 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015
Thanks Joe, Nice tutorial!! It seems so simple but it's not... :-) You're reaaaaally good!! :-)
Alex
Reply
:iconfrisby-2007:
Frisby-2007 Featured By Owner Edited Jul 29, 2015  Student General Artist
It's fantastic! Will help me out for some practice. What areas do you normally thicken when doing the like work? You should do a tutorial on the hair.
Reply
:iconrebellinglemming:
RebellingLemming Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! Enlighten me a lot.
Reply
:iconxearsol:
xearsol Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015
thank you silver for the detailed tutorial 
Reply
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