Pixel Shaded Skirt

Please note: These are just my ways of pixel shading. I readily admit that I'm not the world best pixeller, so there may be easier/quicker ways to do what I am doing, feel free to play around!

This tutorial is not written for any particular application. It can be followed in MS Paint, Ultimate Paint, PhotoPlus, PhotoShop, Paint Shop Pro or any other paint application you may use. It does assume that you are familiar with your chosen applications basic tools.

1. I am going to be using a prep base for this tutorial. If you're a beginner, I'd recommend using a similar sized base until you get the hang of the technique. 2. I have only provided a few palettes for this tutorial. I am using a 6 colour palette. I have some more on my Palettes page, but feel free to use your own!

To give your final image a smoother look, you can use more colours so that there is a smaller difference between each shade.

3. Using the darkest (the 1st) shade of your selected colour, draw in the outline of the skirt. I usually draw it fairly rough to beging with to get the shape right.
4. Tidy up the edges of the skirt so that it is 1 pixel thick at all points. 5. Check to make sure that the outer edges of the skirt are level. If one if higher than the other, it looks like she is standing on a sloping floor! 6. It's worth zooming in and out of your image to make sure that the outline looks smooth. Sometimes, what looks good up-close, looks lumpy when viewed at 100%.
7. When you are happy with the outline, fill the interior of the skirt with 4th colour from your palette. 8. Use the 2nd colour to start shading the folds. Generally, when the outline goes up (it will appear to go inwards), that area will be in shadow.
Add some shading from the waistband too.

I tend to use a very sketchy style when I pixel-shade. I add the shading in roughly first, then go back later to smooth it out.

9. Build up the folds with the 3rd colour. Try to keep the outer edges of the "outward" edges sharp.
8. Use the 5th in the centre of the outward folds, or wherever the light would catch your skirt. 9. Use the 6th colour as a highlight. Add it wherever you feel you skirt needs extra shine! 10. This is the time-comsuming bit (for me anyway!) - neatening your your shading. Zoom out & take a good look at your doll.
Does any of the shading look too thick or too thin, does any of the highlight look like it's in the wrong place? If so, zoom in again & draw over the offending pixels.
Eventually, you should have a nice smooth skirt.
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