Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tutorial Tuesday - Shading

I knew NaMoPaiMo was a really good idea, but I couldn't have predicted the sheer awesomeness of the NaMoPaiMo Facebook page. The amount of  information being shared there is staggering. It's like a graduate course in model horse finishwork.

But... it's still Facebook. All that good information is jumbled, scattered and often hard to find. 

In an effort to preserve the knowledge beyond this year's NaMoPaiMo, I bring you Tutorial Tuesday. Today and every Tuesday for the remainder of this month, I will attempt to share as many of the Facebook tips and tutorials as possible.

First up is Sara Gifford's Helpful Shading Guide:
To prevent your model from looking flat, you need to add some contrast to your finishwork. This diagram shows you how to realistically shade your model.
  • The areas marked 1 are a darker, shadow color
  • The areas marked 2 are the main, base color of the model
  • The areas marked 3 are a lighter, highlight color
Additionally, the area between the cheekbone and muzzle should be a blend of 2 and 3.

But that's not all... Sara also included this collage to encourage people not to give up on their models.
She says: It's okay to feel frustrated in the ugly stages or screw ups... Worse case, it needs to be slapped with primer. But before you do that, try to push through it. It could pay off. At one point this guy could have been a gold trophy. I like to use  one strong layer of pure Pearl-Ex right at the beginning. This time, I screwed up and used the wrong shade. I didn't notice until I sealed it. I worked though the layers by adding other pigments to counter the gold, and it worked out in the end. His color came out nice, even with that little screw up. I bet most of you would have never known had I not said anything!

Your horse is gorgeous, Sara, and he serves as a perfect reminder to keep going even when the going gets rough. Thank you for your words of wisdom and also for that awesome shading guide!


  1. Awesome advice! I've had to re-primer my model already:)

  2. Initially I was disappointed because non-Facebook-ers (like me) couldn't visit the NaMoPaiMo FB page and see all the work going on there. But so much has been posted here, I feel I'm not 'really' missing out.
    THANK YOU Jennifer for all the NaMoPaiMo information, photos and tutorials you've been posting on your blog for all of us to see and benefit from!

    1. I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I love its ease of use and immediacy. There's no more efficient way for groups of people to share words and pictures. Unfortunately, that same immediacy also makes it feel very impermanent. Nothing is actually lost, I supposed, but after just a few days, things can be really, really hard to find. I feel like getting info there and sharing it here is a perfect compromise... It's just a lot of work for me!