How to Create a Painting With Shading

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Adding shading to a painting is a great way to give your image a great deal of depth and dimensionality. Create a painting with shading with help from a graduate of the Maine College of Art in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Painting Techniques
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Abbeth Russell and in the next few moments, I'm going to teach you how to create a painting with shading. So, you want to make sure that you have at least one light color and one dark color. So, here I have thalo blue for my dark and naples yellow for my light. And I've just taken a little bit of each and mix them together to create a middle tone. Now, I'm just going to shade something out of my head, I'm just going to do kind of an abstract sphere shape. You're going to dip your brush in the water and just dip into your middle tone and paint a circle on your paper or canvas. You might find you need to dip back into your water at some point. And it's completely okay to have a bit of variation, preferably thicker painter on the edges and then kind of washier paint in the center of the sphere. Now, you don't need to completely rinse your brush out, it's okay to leave of that color on 'cause it'll create a smooth transition. And just dip your brush in the water again and grab a little bit of that lighter color. And here you're going to add some highlights in the upper left or right corner of your sphere. And the paint should, even though we're using acrylic, the paint should be staying fairly wet and just kind of blend it, blend that lighter color in with the darker color. Alright. And when you want to blend it even more, just dip into your water and kind of brush it around on the page. You should be trying to create as smooth of a transition as possible between the upper and lower part of your sphere. Alright. Now, you're going to dip your brush back in the water and go for your dark color. And for this you're going to do the opposite; you're going to add the dark color to the lower right side of your sphere or the opposite side where you did the light color. And you're going to do the same thing, really try to blend it in with the paint that's already down there. And you should be doing kind of light brush strokes; don't, you don't need to push too much paint on down onto the page. And now, you're going to rinse your brush out and just leave a little bit of paint on the brush and this is going to be used for the shadow which is just going to be a washy shape surrounding the bottom of the sphere and that'll create a plane for your object to be on. Alright, and while your brush is still kind of washy, you're just going to one more time go back in and really blend those two areas of darkness and lightness together. And I like to do one last touch of a really bright highlight, kind of up in that lighter area in the sphere. My name is Abbeth and I just showed you how to create a painting with shading.

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