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And this is how I color it. by feguimel And this is how I color it. by feguimel
So this is how I do it! :meow:

I believe the steps' sequence, and the notes, are quite self-explanatory. But there's a few more things I'd like to mention now.

First of all, I'm sure these ideas and techniques can be used with different graphic software. You only need to study closely what your software has to offer, and see how easily you can adapt the steps here to the available tools.

Okay, now... let's see

Step zero:

Zero because this step is mainly a pure formality. XD
It's not "real" coloring. Only setting the color layers, one at a time, and is the most boring part of the process. But maybe the most delicate and important. This is specially relevant when you work on files with about a hundred layers (like is usually the case with my more complex pictures), which is when you go nuts if you didn't make a tidy layers' setup from the start. So, keep an eye on those layers, and make sure you set enough of them.
Naming them properly, and using some sort of logical order for them is always a plus. Remember that you can also keep them in groups.

About the pattern thing. Remember you can keep the secondary layer to the very end, so all the shading is simply done in the layer below. Specially important for clothes, with all their little folds and troubles.
Later on, you only need to blend the "pattern" layer with the necessary mode - a darkening one, or not, depending on the kind of colors of the case. In my example here, since the base is white and the pattern has the pink stripes, I would use the Multiply mode or similar.

Step 1:

Everything here is quite linear. Pick your lighting direction (source) and try to decide your shading consistently with it; make sure it all feels natural to the eye, and don't just leave it as it is on your first try. But of course, don't stress it too much either. Sometimes, for artistic purposes (and self-enjoyment?), we can -and will- be a bit flexible with the shading on some areas. We want our drawing to look attractive, so let the interesting bits have an interesting shading, even if only from a soft light source from a corner. Or even an extra darker shadow, if it fits the case. Keep it creative.

Step 2:

Now's when the job starts requiring the more love from the artist. Countless strokes, constant sampling of color, and building up of details, bit by bit. Best advice I can give here: Know your hotkeys. You'll see what I mean, once you are familiar with the most simple and start using them constantly. That lazy extra hand will get all toned up on the keyboard. ;3

Also, observe how the shadows from the closest parts are kept more edge-like, while the ones coming from distant parts are softened up. The will help giving your shading a nice variety of effects, pleasant to the eye -and more realistic, if done well. And it also comes to play for the "border" shadow of curved areas. Sometimes you will like to leave a border-shadow more edgy, giving special emphasis
to some parts.

And that's all for now, I think.
In the next steps we'll see how to give the skin that yummy fleshy touch we adore. : )

artwork *feguimel
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mkonstantinov Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Tsumiru Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2015
where is the next part? I can't find it :c
AzakiShimo Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2015  Student General Artist
i used smudges is that ok? :O
Vixie9 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hope you decide to upload the next steps. This has really helped, I'm just learning digital coloring and I need help with giving skin "that yummy fleshy touch" lol. Please? Hug 
JorgeEC Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015
Nice tutorial, easy to understand, many thanks for sharing it.
Red-Panda-Art Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I will check it out later - looks awesome so far :D
XdangerousshotX Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Two things I'd like to know,
1. What software
2. What tools? (I mean in the software) 
ILikeCommas Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Dracalava Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2013  Student General Artist
Need more tutorial!!
KeanuStar Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Pintas genial, seguire tus consejos :3
eltk Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
awesome :O
Cakesalie Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Student General Artist
That is way more then helpful. Thanks :) Haven't done anything digital in so long -_- Feels like I forgot my basics.
feguimel Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good thing about digital is that you can always practice more, and restart as much as you want, without fear of wasting elements. :) So don't give up, and try!
EymBee Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Student General Artist
!!!!this is so helpful thank you for sharing your techniques
Teri-Angel Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012
*~* amazing thank u >o<
toba122 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012
So this is how they do it. I've always wondered how people made those kinds of edges in their shading. The secret's been revealed!
foozzys Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012  Student Digital Artist
PANTIES! (ノಠ_ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
Yuki-ryu-XIII Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Hobbyist
Good tutorial to learn to color and shade the skin. So directly to my favs! XD
FANSILVER Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012

I'll watch you aswell

Save it for l8er LOL

YW : )
DIVERSTHEMMC Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
awesome Thanks

apteleos Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012
randychen Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is very helpful.
daniishadow Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
cool, you tutorial are very explicit. thanks. it gonna be usefull for my progress. thankiu thankiu so much :D
ItaSakuSasu-SasuSaku Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012
anh1art Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012
dragonseeping Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012  Professional Writer
Very, very helpful; even though I rarely do digital art, I can share this to folks who do.
Rocky-O Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Oh my gosh!!! WOW thanks for sharing your technique!!!! :)
phy-be Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow. Amazing tutorial so far, seriously thanks for sharing :heart:
vonPipkin Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
very useful tutorial on soft and hard shading :) thanks!
TopoGuren Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Student Interface Designer
i love it!!!
CylexBoh Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012
looks amazing so far XD
Mejinomaru Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Student Filmographer
cool good job better yet :icongreatjobplz: and I hate to be that guy but im going to say it anyways :icondemtittaysplz::iconbreastsplz:
MrKitteh Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Whats a clipping mask?
And how did you make it all grey like that
DragonHeart136 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012
I love your shadowing techniques....and that drawing of the girl to....
Swifty-TheVagabond Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice mate, been looking for this style of shading for a while and wondered how it was done. On ya mate!! :P
Sabishii106 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012
For some reason I don't think anyone was paying attention to the shadowing techniuques :B
RainbowFrosting Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012
What tools did you use?
Annbu Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Are digital art tutorials a good substitute for traditional art ones? ._.
feguimel Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Digital techniques' tutorials are hardly of any use for traditional art. :o
Xerxan Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
not really
Rauhfasertapete Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Student General Artist
I owe you one.
Black-Card Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012
Oh wow, I've always wanted to see something like this. Can't wait for more.
shevsters Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
what program?
feguimel Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This works just fine for SAI, PS, and likely any modern bitmap program that allows you to use layers.
shevsters Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks! :meow:
Lydia-Rawr Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sai most likely.
shevsters Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks so much! :meow:
CrashKirby64 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This will help a lot. Thanks! ^^
finex666 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
it's amazing help. thanks
Rruik Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How do you do your lineart?
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