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

Step 6 I used the Opacity option to adjust the opacity of the sliders. In this case, I wanted it to be lighter on the left, so I decreased the middle slider to around 25% and the final one to 0%. This gave a rounded feel to the bear’s hat.

Step 7 I applied the same techniques to the bird character. I made sure to carefully consider how the light would fall on him and, once again, used the Gradient panel and Opacity options to create a rounded effect with a gradient running from light to dark and back to light again.

Step 8 Attention to detail is really important. To finish off the artwork, I explored the image (holding Space and dragging to move around the canvas) and applied the same effects to smaller elements, such as the leaves, trees and house.

Ben Steers

Who: Ben is a freelance illustrator and designer working out of the beautiful city of Bristol. Ben’s work is a mix of different graphic styles, with influences ranging from 80s animation to early graffiti. He enjoys creating characters and the worlds they inhabit. His work always retains an element of humour and playfulness that reflects his fun-loving character. In the past Ben has completed work for a range of clients, including The Carbon Trust, Tate Modern, The Sunday Times and the Spunky clothing label.
Software: Adobe Illustrator CS5
Time to complete: 3 hours

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