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Shading in artwork can be tricky! Whether you blend it out smoothly like I do or shade in solid chunks, it's important to make your shading pop and look nice. Shading with darker and lighter variations of the same color, like I did on the left works; but if you want to try something new and make it even more pleasing to the eye, here's some tips on how.

Step 1: Selecting Your Colors

Now, the first thing to do is figure out what hues you are using to shade and highlight with. There are many ways to do this while working with color theory, but the one I tend to use goes for colors a few hues away from your base like shown in the image. You can also kind of go with your gut on what colors will offset your base well once you get the hang of it. For this red, I want to go down to a dark saturated purple for the shading, and a bright, light yellow for the highlights. Let's see how it looks!

Step 2: Shading

The shading part is simple! Once you select your color, block in the color like I did in the first image, then blend it out accordingly to get the product in the second image. You can mess with the opacity and settings if you like to make it look how you want, but I didn't in this, the results are only from blending. Doesn't that already look more bright and lively?

Step 3: Highlights & Done!

This step follows the same routine as the last, only with your light yellow! Once again you can adjust opacity to your liking or change effects. I ultimately ended up with the final image! Side by side, doesn't the one on the right pop much more than the one shaded only with different tones of red? Not everyone likes shading this way and that's just fine! But now you have another method under your belt for reference to build off.

<p>Can you explain more how you blended the colors?</p>
<p>Good tips! </p><p>What program are you using for this?</p>
Paint Tool Sai!

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