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Exercise 26 Results: Shading Gems Step by Step by CGCookie Exercise 26 Results: Shading Gems Step by Step by CGCookie

Check out the Exercise and Download the Practice Sheet HERE

Artist: Tim Von Rueden (vonn)

EXERCISE:  To define and interpret features that distinguish a recognizable face. 

This exercise was a true gem! Below is a step by step on how I created each of the gemstones from the exercise practice sheet. I broke it down into each significant step on what was included or added:

  1. Outline - Begin with the shape of each gem, do research if you're looking for a specific cut! Try to do this on a separate layer to hide in step 4.
  2. Solid Base - Choose a color and try working in a darker value shade of that hue.
  3. Color Variants - This is when we start to create the illusion of faceting, when each "plane" of a gem will catch the light and reflect it at a slightly different value of that same hue. Think about where the light source is coming from as well.
  4. Remove Outlines and Add Gradients - This will give the gem a solid foundation from here to detail further! Subtle gradients will add that extra touch of realism.
  5. Sharp Angles Brush - The intense sharp angles that are seen in gems can be recreated with an angles brush set to overlay or multiply. You can download our brush HERE.
  6. Highlights - Work along the edges of the different facets and this will give the gem a sense of realism along with separating the planes from one another.
  7. Detailing and Polishing - Add any final detail and "polishing" to give your gem an extra something to make it stand out. I also like working in the shadows and pop in some color.
Add a Comment:
evil0verlady Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! That's something! How do you figure out which plane should be which color?
CGCookie Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
It could be broken down into an intense mathematical equation but I would rather rely on intuition and let contrast take control of placements for what color should each plane be. So next to a dark plane, I'll place a lighter one, and so fourth. 
trecneps Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2015  Student General Artist
This is pretty awesome, thanks for such a great and straight to the point tutorial!
Now, can you just make a button labeled "Download to Brain" so I can perfect this skill instantly?
CGCookie Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
haha yes, this is new tech we've been developing and should be launching soon after the testing phase completes ;)
cheetahfurry Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2015
This is freaking amazing! Thank you so much!
JCWrights Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2015
I'm jeweler and gem cutter, so I just love this
StarfleTheGreat Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my goodness gracious I finally found it! I can't tell you enough how much your gem tutorials have helped me~! Thank you my friend! Steven Universe Amethyst (Dance 2) 
Plueschopossum Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice tutorial. Used here: Thanks a lot :)
Spottedclawlovescats Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2015   Digital Artist
How do you remove the  outlines?
CGCookie Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
You need to click on the eye for the outline work layer, that should hide the layer.
TheAngeldove Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
:iconpurplebutterflyplz:¸¸♥´¯) Thank you so much!
(¸☆´ (¸.♥´´¯`•.¸¸.ღ •.♥ .•´¯`•.¸¸.••Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

Your Friend Always,
dove :butterfly:
WaylonArt Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2015
Used this exercize/tutorial in Citrine and Kunzite by WaylonArt
Thank you!
Epixelle Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Those look great!
WaylonArt Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015
Thank you so much!
Yohadoptee Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
thanks for sharing this!
OwlComet Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
This is really helpful!! =O Really awesome work!! =D <3
Su3-C Featured By Owner May 31, 2015  Student General Artist
thank you for making this! It helped me a lot!
Aphilien Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2015
All of these are absolutely fantastic :3 thank you so much
BDTite1919 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2015  Student
Koiyaki Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much for making this! This has to be the best gem tutorial I've seen in a bit o.o
psycho23 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I am terrible at making anything look realistic and these are just gorgeous! Thank you so much!
Ookamicchi Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very helpful, thank you!
MichiIsAlone Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i ain't good at the simetry :(
milaink Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015
thank you very much for the tutorial! it looks amazing! oooh, stars 
ArinceWang Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015
Oh my! I should've seen this earlier! Thank you for the turorial
magoleth Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this great tutorial ^^
limmiar Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015
Perfect! ^^
IgorLevchuk Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much for tutorials. Very useful. Going to spend my free time for study it.
GinsengLag Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015
Thank you so much for this! I dove into trying to draw a gem so fast that I didn't even think to look up a specific cut. This is so helpful.
monion Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015
This is great! Thank you so much!
EMPERADO-RFELOZO Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Honeebunny Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for this, it helped me figure out why some gems i were coloring didn't look right! :3
tunngart Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2014
Thanks for the helpful knowledge!
Rune-Sorceress Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very cool tutorial. Some of the more advanced ones look so professional in outline already. Envious of the skill!
ruamsa144 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014
It looks so realistic! O.O
Neruvous Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014
I need surpass to 6 and 7 level Blankface Workout 
Thank you very much for post 
Anime Emoji (Oh yay dance) [V2] 
DannexReloadex Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow is great!!
Ryfaku Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2014
can i download it?
CGCookie Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
You sure can! Visit… ! the .psd file is on the page!
MasterVule Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You have download button at right. Click it and you will get the full resolution picture. After that just right click at it and select save as and save it
infinityfractals Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014
Izz-noxfox Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Neat, I rarely ever painted such gems and hadn't thought of segmenting the shapes first.
dudgus2429 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014
MasterVule Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for tutorial :)
p-l-u-m-b-u-m Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The last gem is too real :0 Awesome! 
hana623 Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014
I know :O My purity ring has a heart ruby as the main gem and it looks just like that!
RealTimeBrush Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2014
Another excellent piece, love the step by step and gridded break down
luchojimenez Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014
muy bonitas  , me gustan  ,tratare de  emularlas  con acuarelas
TheBlueDreamMaker Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is so amazing!
centauries Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I just wanted to thank CK for their tutorials and especially this one, keep it up guys!
With your help I managed to pull this off…
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Submitted on
June 20, 2014
Image Size
1.6 MB


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