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Minimal Value Shading

  • Software:Photoshop CS6  ·
  • Difficulty:Intermediate

Artist: Sam Carr

In this tutorial, I'll be walking you through the process of painting a medieval knight, and showing you how to keep your values limited and realistic. From starting with a small pencil thumbnail sketch, to drawing lines, adding values and finally colour and rendering, I'll be showing you my entire process from start to finish. This is a good process to use for professional illustration work, as you can stop at various stages along the way and let the client evaluate if the painting is heading in the right direction. The subject of this video is Minimal Value Shading. So what is minimal value shading and why would you want to use it? Minimal value shading just means using a limited value range, where your darks aren't too dark, and your lights aren't too light. Using a limited value range involves reserving your real light are darks for select areas of contrast, thus creating a sense of form and light within the image. You can use this for building strong compositions, creating depth between objects, and creating a very realistic sense of light. Setting separate limited value ranges also allows you to create a strong difference between materials within your painting. Additionally, I talk about some useful tools within Photoshop that will allow you to control your values better. I also go over a technique that will allow you to move with ease from a black and white value image to colour, in a way where you wonít wind up with a washed out painting. I hope you enjoy the video and learn some useful techniques.