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Greyscale Shading

One major change to my illustration practice has been greyscale shading. I'd spend hours being dissatisfied with the way my colours transitioned and felt like I Was missing some hidden knowledge that my favourite creators and illustrators had. Funny enough I was missing something.

Attempt number 1:

As you can see, It looks dark and the greyscale image on the bottom doesn’t match the colours I’m putting over it so it still looks like somethings not quite right. That’s because my skills with matching colours to the tone were way off, as well as the tonal values on the bottom weren’t really making sense with the lighting I was going for. Even so, I was happy with what I had accomplished. I knew I was on to something that will improve my process in a massive way.

Attempt number 2:

My ability to do greyscale shading has significantly improved after realising my issue was tonal values and my colours were way too desaturated for what I wanted to achieve in the first attempt. Knowing this I stuck to a more basic idea for the lighting in order to focus on learning how to do greyscale shading and tonal values better. Even this piece to me looks flat, and thats due to the lack of contrast between the areas that are meant to be the shadow areas, but still a step up from where I was before.

To conclude, I’ll leave some resources for other artists and illustrators to use if they want to learn this process. Even if you don’t want to make this a part of your process working in a monochromatic way will improve your tonal values to make your work more dynamic. I am obviously still learning this, however I have found this speeds up my process by several hours if I’m doing a final piece.

Here’s a very talented artist who talks through his process using greyscale shading very clearly that I’d recommend:

In a general note, I’m going to try make these blog posts every two weeks to document my development and give real resources I’m using to make improvements to my work and process.

Thanks for reading and have a good rest of the week.

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