how to shade a zergling

How to Shade a Zergling

Step 1.

Make sure you have a line drawing that has neat and tidy edges. First you need to decide on where your light source is. For this, I chose to have the light streaming in from the top right corner of the page. You can make a small circle representing the sun at the side so you can remember to work from that.

Step 2.

Now choose where the darkest areas will be according to where the light hits the forms of the creature. The red shows the areas that will have the least amount of light reaching them. All the lines on the left parts of the creature will be in shadow, so they will be darkened.

Step 3.

Here I have started to add in shading to the underside of the Zergling. I used the 5B pencil for this. Notice how I have deliberately left behind some lighter areas? This is to give the skin a rough looking texture, the little parts I left un-shaded will look like highlights on wrinkly or rough skin.

Step 4.

Tip: Head detail. The head will always be a focal point in a drawing. There fore you should pay attention to the details here. In this close up, I have started to shade the darker sides of the tusks which jut out from the lower jaw. Make the furthest edge the darkest, and blend it out lighter towards the opposite edge so that there is a smooth transition between them. Do this especially for rounded shapes. Also, start to shade in the ridges of the head. I have used tortillion here to get a smoother effect. You can use some tissue paper rolled up to have a small point to get the same effect.

Step 5.

More head detail. Here you can see the head it basically finished. Darken the areas in between the teeth, being careful not to slowly erode the teeth away, making them smaller, as this is a common problem. Use an eraser to mark in some highlights on the right hand side of the surfaces. And don’t be afraid to go very dark in some areas, this having a range of tones really help to bring out the form of the creature.

Step 6.

Here you can see a close up of the arm, showing some highlights on higher points. I have shaded around some veins, leaving them white, so it seems as if they are sticking out from the skin around them. Also, there is a lumpy protrusion on the shoulder joint, and it has been highlighted on the right side. And just below this, there is a darker patch, showing a depression, where the skin goes in a bit. Having a range of these will make the creature seem more interesting and 3D.

Step 7.

Shading the carapace is almost like shading mountain peaks. If you look closely at how the shapes work, you can see how the light should behave when it hits them. The ridges of the carapace, or plate armour, are the highest points, and therefore catch most of the light, so they should be almost white.

Step 8.

Continue to follow these steps for all the parts of your creature. Use tortillion, tissue paper, or your fingers to smoothly blend softer areas, and leave rougher areas as they are. I have added in lines along the claws and spikes to show that they are made of a rugged material and are not smooth like ivory. After all the blending, some of the sharper details lines may have faded, go over these again with a sharpened dark pencil to re-define them. Don’t forget to add in a shadow around where your creature is standing and sign and date your work!

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Uploaded: November 29, 2010
Artist: Glaiceana
Difficulty: Intermediate  Intermediate Skill Level
Steps: 8
Updated: November 29, 2010
P.O.V: 3/4
Favourited: 6 times
Artist comments

This is a shading tutorial, the second part of “How to draw a Zergling from Starcraft” This will show you how to shade a line drawing. You can use the techniques shown on other line drawings you may have, if you did not see the tutorial on drawing the Zergling from scratch. I will go over the steps I take for shading a drawing and will give tips along the way. I would suggest using 3B to 5B pencils, an eraser, a sharpener and some tortillion or tissue paper. I will show how to decide on where the shadows and highlights will be on your drawing.

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