Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Using the GIMP : Soft-Shading by saphiremomo Using the GIMP : Soft-Shading by saphiremomo
I'm so very sorry to those with slow connections - this file is huge, and I didn't feel like breaking it up into to separate files because then I would probably never get finished with the second part, just like with the lineart tutorial. I swear, I will get that done, someday!

Anyway, this is mainly a tutorial for those who are beginners to soft-shading. I show two of my different styles of soft-shading in this tutorial, and I hope I wrote it helpfully.

If you have any questions or concerns, please tell me! I always want to be as helpful as possible.

I reference several of my other tutorials in this tutorial, so here are some links to them.

Layers Tutorial *Very Important* -> [link]
Lineart Tutorial -> [link]
Cell-Shading Tutorial *Very Important* -> [link]
Add a Comment:
MisterKaos Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Got any tips on mask shading for base images?
misty-mary Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very good
Kingofsouls Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
Looks promising. Are you going to make an "advanced" guide to get a little more in-depth?
0ForestLights0 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for this :3
I stink at shading but now I found this I think I've gotten better! :3
SayaTsukikoran Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012
thank oyu you REEEEALy go into detail on this its nice to have some thoughrough instruction thank you! X3
saphiremomo Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Glad it helped!
leafdapple007 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012
This helped sooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!!!! Exactly what I needed!!!! I am soooo happy now!!!! And your layers tutorial helped a lot too!!!
saphiremomo Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I'm glad it helped you so much!
XtcOverdose Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Argh this was so helpful thank you! :3
UsayFudo Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2011  Student General Artist
Awesome :D
PuccaZeldaPPGFan Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011  Student Artist
Thank you! I really needed help with shading! :iconpuccazeldappgfan: approves! :D
danybri21 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very useful tutorial :D
ayame18 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Nice tutorial, it'll help me with shading. :clap:
SiNgInGxSoLaC3xXD Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I am so lost o.o
I don't see the window that shows the layers! o-o
saphiremomo Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2011  Student Digital Artist
In your menu, go to windows > dockable dialogs > layers, and that should pop it up. I dont' think it's up by default anymore (as it was when I made this tutorial)
Blue-Radiance Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010  Student Photographer
Thanks, really helped. :meow:
Mistgod Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You are AWESOME! Thank you, thank you! I am only just starting GIMP today, and it seemed confusing. This gets me started doing something with it! Thanks!
Rainears Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010
caradecunha Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Also now that I read it for the like 5th time? I think i finnaly got it on how to do the smudging one (wasnt understanding whenr eading it now I do!!!) thanks again very easy to follow
caradecunha Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks this helped me create this [link]
So thanks so much!
MitsukuniAnise Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2010
One question, just how exactly do you turn Grayscale to RGB?
My scanner doesn't seem to want to scan in RGB and I don't know how to change it from grayscale. D:
Blue-Radiance Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2010  Student Photographer
I have this problem all the time too. :)
That should help. :D
HoofPrintsInTheSand Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2010

Nice tutorial, Helped me a fair bit. :)
SuperSmurgger Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Excellent Job, it really hepled me !
Thx !
Wolfie-wolfie-chan Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2009 do I soft shade the hair and skin? Do I just do the same thing, except on a different layer?
Shilohx15 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm not good at using layers. If you could explain the second version a little better, you know i blinde terms, then maybe I'd be able to do it. I need to learn to color better asap. Whoever is good at explaining and knows how to do this, please message me immeditely. Thanks.
DiscoMunication Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2009
this was REALLY helpful! thankyou so much! the lineart tutorial was really good too!
imkazzy Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
Aweshum tut (=
slikari Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2009
Thank you so much for this tutorial! It's my new favorite way to shade :]
Kristin-Stordahl Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2009
this doesn't fucking work!!!!!
Yakkov Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2009  Student Digital Artist
Very useful^^
Amaya14 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2008
i got stuck at put a white layer below both transparent...could you explain that better?
Mike-J Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2008
Good stuff!
but the smudge tool and the airbrush tool give a similar effect with less effort.
pralinkova-princezna Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Interesting! I haven't tried the masking method, but smudging is my favourite. I use selections for colouring instead of coloring over the lines, and then lock opacity, that works well too. :D I also made a Gimp tutorial, I think this great program needs more promotion. ;)
xEmoMuffinx Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
I have a question...

What exactly does the mask do?
BriBriBlitz Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2008  Student Digital Artist
how can i make the backroundcopy transparent?
xEmoMuffinx Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
You can't make the background copy transparent.
That's one of the special attributes of the Background layer.

Oh wait. ._.

You said background COPY? My bad. It explains it in the tutorial, the bit with the "colour to alpha".
BriBriBlitz Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2008  Student Digital Artist
thank you!
xEmoMuffinx Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist

No problem~
iwuvmuffins Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2007
I have been trying to find the RBG thing on my GIMP program but I can't find it. Could you please help me? But other than this, your a great help to me.
saphiremomo Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2007  Student Digital Artist
The RGB or RBG or whatever it's called is found under Image -> Mode -> RGB.
Amenothep38 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007
great tut! ^^
saphiremomo Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007  Student Digital Artist
Thank you.
aimlesslife Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2007   Photographer
LOL unlike most other tutorials, i actually wanted to read every word you wrote (; very good
lenlen46 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2007
You are the most awsome person I swear! I AM BEYOND HAPPY! THANK YOU!!
Yuna-Tulin Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2007
Thanks for this tutiorial! ^0^ I use the smudge method but I didn't know about the masking way of doing it <.>;; Also, I never got my lineart with a transparent bg, and so the colours always went over the lines - but that really helps! :heart:
CalypsoSilverhawk Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2007
Schweet. :3
I prefer the second, because the first method doesn't give you a very good contrast between colors and ends up looking slightly flat. :P
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
March 17, 2007
Image Size
2.1 MB


45,029 (4 today)
413 (who?)