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Let it be known before we start, I am NOT a shadow master! I have practiced quite a bit though! When I wanted to learn how to shadow my lettering, I would read over and over and over again, "just visualize where your light source is coming from, and add your shadow!" Well, that is easier said than done for me! You guys, my brain just can't picture it! I cannot for the life of me visualize a light source adding shadow on my letters! But I did realize after many months of researching and seeing how others have shadowed their lettering, there seems to be a couple "rules" if you will, to it. And those rules are super simple to me! Like, way easier than visualizing light!! I have a feeling you'll agree too!
FOLLOW THESE 2 SIMPLE RULES:
1. PICK A SIDE - left or right
2. MATCH YOUR STROKES - down strokes are thick, upstrokes are thin
For the first rule, you'll want to decide where you will be placing your shadow. Will it be to the left of ALL your letters, or to the right? I've decided in this tutorial to place my shadow on the right side.
For the second rule, remember how we learned that our down strokes are thicker and our upstrokes are thinner? You'll want to apply that same rule to shadowing. Make your shadow on your down strokes a little thicker, then on your upstrokes make them thinner.
Now that you know the rules, let's grab your pens and a piece of paper and get to practicing!!! I'm going to show you 2 different styles of shadowing!
STYLE 1 - simple black shadow
Begin by picking any word you want! Bonus points to you if you pick a word with double letters, like I did with coffee! If you don't know by now, I am a coffee lover! Plus you gotta practice those double letter words anyways.....I'm using my Tombow Dual Brush Pen Saddle Brown (977) to letter it out.
Using a Tombow Fudenosuke Hard Tip, add a thick shadow to the right side of your letters. Anywhere there is a down stroke formed, this is where you'll add the thicker shadow.
Next, using a Tombow Mono Drawing Pen 01, add a thin shadow to the right side of all your upstrokes. This pen has a very fine tip, which makes it PERFECT for this step!!! Follow the outline of the letters so that there is no white space between the letter and the shadow.
Not as hard as you thought, right?!!!
STYLE 2 - colored shadow
I'm using the same color as before for this style (and the same word!!). But you can choose any 2 colors you'd like! You could do a dark purple, then a light purple for shadow. Or black and then gray for your shadow. Or red with a pink shadow....you get the idea!
Following the same rules above, add a thick shadow to your down stroke. For this color I chose Tombow Dual Brush Pen Sand (992).
Next add your shadow to the upstrokes, making them thinner. As you can see here, my shadow under the C was a bit on the heavy side! Ooopsies!!!! I got a little carried away!
Here's a tip: when using lighter colors, sometimes they don't show up well, especially if you take a picture of it. Inking over it again will help darken it. Think of it like paint, just put an extra coat on it!
Oh and another tip!: Depending on which colors you use, you may find you pick up some of the darker colored ink on your lighter color. Totally ok! After each letter, just use a piece of scrap paper to scribble that dark ink off! Then you're good to go!
And style 2 is done! Experiment with different colors, you'd be surprised with the color combos that would look great together!
I hope you enjoyed this week's tutorial!
Have fun lettering!
Till next time,