Tip: Shading a Gem

Hello and Welcome to the tip tutorial on Shading a Gem.


In this tutorial we go through the steps on shading a gem to show how easy a material such as this can be to create! This can be done with any color that matches the gem’s properties but for this, we are using an amber/honey color. The steps would be similar when using other colors, just remember to bend your colors toward the light. Want some more help looking at color? Check out the getting started section on Color Basics.

gemchartHere is the step by step chart on shading a gem correctly. Just keep these tips in mind.

  • Think about the direction of the lighting.
  • Change the hardness of your brush to blend as you see fit.
  • Let the light permeate the surface, but still remember the reflective property of the surface as well.
  • The saturation in the shadow should be less saturated than the color in the gem.

Thanks for checking out this tip tutorial on shading a gem, if you have any comments or questions, leave them in the section below!

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7 Responses to “Tip: Shading a Gem”
  1. Posts: 86

    I love how you mentioned that the shading is similar to an eye, because..maybe it’s just me, but I think the shading of this gem is very similar to how you shade eyes, Tim. I think it almost looks like an eye without a pupil!

  2. Posts: 12
    franbear says:

    Very useful tutorial…but I have to ask a totally unrelated question, but where are you from?Do I hear a slight Minnesota or Wisconsin accent?

  3. Posts: 1
    koalajams says:

    I’m kind of confused @ 02:35. How did your brush opacity changed when it’s at 100%? What kind of brush is it?

    • Posts: 390

      Since I have “transfer” turned on, i get that opacity transition (depending on how hard i push down on the brush) to the brush even though the opacity setting is set to 100%

  4. Posts: 1
    cocoamelody says:

    I was trying soo hard to get this one down… but the struggle is real. Above you mentioned that you had your transfer settings on your brush set a certain way, would you mind sharing that? I tried to duplicate something similar and an hour and a half later… squat.. at least that operates as yours did. The constant shifting of opacity and flow to get it right nearly made my chuck my computer at the wall.

    • Posts: 390

      Hey there, yeah let me share what i use:

      – I have my transfer turned on 100% in the brush settings menu
      – I have the opacity on the top menu set to 100%
      – For the actual tablet settings i keep the “firm” or “soft” setting set right in between in the middle of the two.

      I then use these brush settings along with not pushing too hard on the tablet to get the transition.

      Hope this helps!

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