Adobe Illustrator tutorial: Add depth to your art with expert shading techniques

Step 3 Now to add depth to the hills. I selected the compound shape and by using the two previous techniques, created a linear gradient using four shades of green running light to dark. By double-clicking on the sliders in the Gradient panel, I made subtle changes to each selected colour by adjusting the CMYK levels.

Step 4 With the background now layered to give the piece more depth, I could move onto the main character. Remembering where the light source was coming from, I used the Pen tool (P) to create a loose shadow line. I filled it with a dark brown, and adjusted the opacity (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + F10) to around 15%. Once this is done, hit Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Adjust the Radius slider to between two and three pixels and click OK.

Step 5 You can achieve a very simple rounded effect on objects, such as the bear’s hat, by using a combination of the Gradient tool and opacity. I duplicated the main shape of the hat by holding Alt and dragging. I created a compound shape using the Pathfinder (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + F9). I selected a Shape Mode of Unite and the Expand Pathfinder, then filled the shape with a dark brown.

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