How Can I Shade Better Digital Art?

Art|Digital Art

Understanding and applying the right techniques when shading digital art is one of the most difficult and time consuming parts of creating a piece of art. As such, it is important to be aware of all the different methods available, so as to be able to choose the right approach for the project in hand.

The first step in shading digital art is to select the right brush and color. Most digital art programs offer a variety of brushes that can be used to create various textures and effects, such as airbrushes, soft brushes, and grainy brushes. Additionally, it is important to choose colors that are complementary to each other when shading. This helps create an interesting visual contrast that makes the artwork look more dynamic.

Once these two steps have been taken care of, it is time to start actually shading the artwork. The best way to do this is by using multiple layers.

Start by creating a base layer and then adding successive layers on top of this one by using different shades of colors or textures. This allows you to build up a complex shading effect without having to redraw everything from scratch every time you want to make a change.

It is also important not to forget about highlights and shadows when shading digital art. Even though these two elements can be added in post-production, it is still beneficial to incorporate them into your artwork from the beginning as they can help balance out an image and make it appear more realistic. To do this, use lighter or darker colors on certain areas of your artwork in order to create areas that stand out or blend in respectively.

Finally, experimenting with different techniques can often yield unexpected results that are much better than what you were originally going for. So don’t be afraid to try something new or mix up your usual processes every once in awhile – you might just find something amazing!


Shading digital art correctly requires a lot of practice and patience, but with some experimentation and knowledge about available techniques it can be done effectively with great results. By choosing the right brush and colors, applying multiple layers on top of each other, incorporating highlights/shadows into your artwork from the beginning, as well as experimenting with different techniques – you will soon master how to shade digital art like a pro!