Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
Skill Level Intermediate
- [Presenter] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. In a past DVG lab, I showcased the creative process behind this fan-based artwork of the dude. Someone contacted me and asked me, how do you determine the shading? Because they were finding it hard to determine how to shape and form the shading on their own artwork that they had created. So in this movie, I want to focus on creating this type of shading, and how I would go about thinking through it, and offer up some approaches you could take to pull off the same type of detailing, so let's get started.
Now, on my dude artwork, the thing I want to point out, is this shading was determined by the light source, and in this case, the light source was coming straight down, from the top down, and keeping in mind the light source, will keep in mind what parts of the surface of whatever you created is going to be hit by the light directly, what parts are going to be darker as it moves farther away from the lighting, and this is the type of thinking you need to put into it when you're approaching this style.
There's some creative liberty in the fact you can take a little license, and not be so literal at times, based off of a style like this, this isn't obviously photo-realistic, so there is a lot of forgiveness, but that's how in general you want to think about it. Now as I'm going to show you this, I tried to pick a topic, and a theme that anybody will understand what it is, and because everybody has one, and that is, a skull. So we're going to approach a skull, and we're going to illustrate it in a graphic sense, but then we're going to figure out and determine how to pull off the lighting, and it's by using this example of thinking about your light source.
Now, I wanted to show you this, because years ago, I'm just a big kid at heart sometimes (laughs), my wife would attest to that, but we were in a store, and I saw that they were selling this candy dispenser, and it looked like it was molded, it just was holding candy, and you open up its mouth, is kind of like a really low budget Pez, but without the body, I have this posed on top of my pencil sharpener, just to take this photo reference, and that's exactly why I'm showing it to you, is since we're going to draw a skull, any time you can use photo reference to aid in the creation is going to make it easier, in this case, this isn't the best skull, but it helps me figure out the angle.
I also lit it the way I plan on shading it by positioning it under a lamp, and that's going to help me, too, as we move along. But I just wanted to show it to you, because you can come up with your own reference at times. I've had these candy packaging for about eight years now, so they just sit on my desk, and whenever I need a skull reference, I usually take it and look at it at the angle I'm thinking, and it just helps me to discern how to start drawing on top of it, and so this shows you how I printed out this photo, and this is the drawing I did on top of this one, once again, it's not an exact match to the skull image I showed you at all, it doesn't really look anything like it detail-wise, but it helps me get those proportions correct, and I'll draw this, redraw sections, redraw it again, put more vellum on top of it, redraw something else, 'till I get it looking the way I think it looks right, and that's how drawing is.
Very few people can draw things immediately off the top of their head, without reference. Now, I've said this before in other courses, but I'm going to say it again, if you ever get a chance to watch The Lion King, the bonus material they give with that, it shows all the artists at these safari parks drawing from animals. Do you think any Disney artist doesn't know what a lion looks like in general? Of course they do. But, even though they're not drawing realistically, looking at reference of the real world helps to draw it in a stylized format, regardless, so, use reference, all the time, whether you create it, like I did here, or you source out a photograph that you can use to reference to help guide your efforts.
It makes the process go faster. So what I end up with is a refined sketch, the vector drawing follows all the same formulas I show you in all my movies, I try to segment it out into more, distill it down that is, into simpler shapes, so this was easier to create than trying to combine everything, this is just simple curves to create the top of his head, these are just the top part of his eyes, the bottom part of his eyes, here's this part, on the right part, and then his teeth, are just simple shapes created like that.
So, it's not hard, it just takes time, but once you've done this, you can start fusing everything together, uniting them together with the pathfinder, so example, we take this, take the eye, nose, this little detail, take the left side, maybe these parts up here, and this, would unite it together, if we filled it with black, you can see, we already have most of artwork done, so if you think about the way you build it, it's going to make the whole process go faster, when it's all said and done, you're going to end up with nice base artwork like this, base black and white.
So, how do we think about shading now? How to we determine shading? Well, we're going to determine that our light source is coming from the top left, shining down. That means anything on the left side is going to be lighter, won't have a lot of shading. Everything on the opposing side, further away from the light, is going to have more shading, so that principle in general should guide your drawing efforts. We'll go ahead and lock this layer, and I'm going to turn on this layer, I actually print out my artwork, and I draw on top of it.
So let's go ahead and zoom in a little bit on this. And you can see, we'll go ahead and adjust the opacity here, I'll just go ahead an turn this up to like 80, like that, you can see how I've drawn the shading on this printout, keeping in mind my light source up here. And then that way, I can figure out, there's a lot of creative license I can take here, meaning, is this exactly how a shape would be if light wasn't hitting it? Well, no, probably not, but it alludes to the fact that this wouldn't be completely dark, actually, you could have it completely dark, and it would be fine, but, I wanted to bring in some area of light here, just so it wasn't a complete, flat area of what is going to end up being a gray color, and then I just started playing around with drawing out shape and form, I usually print out about two or three of these, try one, try a different one, and then pick the one that I think I like best, or combine several of them until I get what I want.
So I just wanted to point that out, is that's the way I kind of discern light source, I use that discernment of the light source, this should be 40, I think, lock the layer, and then, once I have that, I scan it back in, place it like this into illustrator, and then I use the same principle of building, where I'm going off of my drawn content to figure out exact shape, exact form, and then, when it's all said and done, I can just simply have clean vector artwork with my lighting source determined.
So, that's how I go about determining a light source, this is how I go about composing a light source, and this type of artwork is a lot of fun to use, if you look at sports identity, this is the type of styling, in terms of detailing, that they use on sports mascots all the time, and it works for a lot of different genres as well, it works great on a light background, works great on a dark background like this, and I use that same skull reference I showed you earlier to do these compositions for a BMX company years and years ago, and the light source on this, the one on the left was from the top down, the one on the right is from the top right, shining down, and you can see, most of this is in shadow because of that.
So, thinking about your light source will determine how to draw your specific shapes for the shading. But keep in mind, you don't have to worry about it is that actually what it would look like? It doesn't matter, nobody's going to look at this and go, that's not how the light and shadow would be exactitude, with the light shining, it doesn't matter, it's a stylization of reality, so there's a lot of forgiveness to this style. I can take a different styling of graphic, it's the same theme, a skull, and I love you to death is what the theme was here, and the lighting here is straight down, kind of.
Would it really have these shadings here? I don't know, I just thought it looked better, so that's where artistic license comes in. And then, to make it easier, if you own an iPad, or an iPhone, they actually have an iPhone app, too, there's a really great app called Handy. I have it on my iPad Pro now, but Handy allows you to set up your lighting source on all kinds of elements, so yes, they have a skull, so I have the lighting come from the top left going to the right, and you can see there's also a reflective light off-screen to the right here, you could actually turn that off if you wanted to, and then it would be very dramatic, only coming from one side, so this is more of a reflective light on the right, but they also have different elements, themes, topics, objects, and you can put a person in there, and just light it from one side, and then this would help you discern how to pull off the shading.
You would just have to deduce from this a stylization of the same thing. But this might help you, to get that app. So, I highly recommend checking it out. It's called Handy, like your hand, but with a y at the end, so handy, check that out. If you want to test this out, and see how well you can point it off, print this out and try it for yourself. This is another piece of flat base artwork, once again, a skull theme, and figure out the light source you want to do, print this out, and start drawin' on it, see how you do it, just practice it.
Doesn't matter if it's for anything, or for a real project, sometimes practicing your creative process makes you better at doing what you want to do for a living. So, give this a shot, and see what you can do. There is no secret to figuring out this type of detailing. The more you do it, the better you'll get at discerning shape and form of your light source. I enjoy this state of creative process on projects like this, because it's fun to physically draw on a printout, and figure out the shading, because as soon as I do, I'm goin', oh, this is going to look cool, so I think you're going to enjoy it the more you do it.
Let me know what you like to see in future DVG labs, I'd love to hear from you, so email me your insights or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for watching DVG lab. Until next time, as always, never stop drawing.
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.