Dress Shading

This tutorial was made in Adobe Photoshop, but you should be able to follow it in any other similar graphic programmes aswell (like the GIMP or PSP).

At first, choose a base, copy it  and paste it into your program. (I have chosen a base from the wonderful Saralyssan, but it works with any other kind of bases aswell). You will also need a colour palette with three colour shades.

Create a new layer called "dress outline" and then pick the drawing tool (size 1, opacity 100%), using the darkest shade of the palette to draw the outline.
I go for a dress with simple folds, to make it easier to understand. A dress usually won't be all body tight, so don't just follow the outline of the base, but add a little fold here and there. For the bottom folds it's important to make them not to regular and all the same size. (Flipping the whole doll is a nice trick to check whether the folds are right or very odd)

When you're done, don't forget to clean up the lines, else the doll will look messy.
Now you create another new layer, called "dress filling" and fill the dress with the second colour on the pallete. (Sometimes you will have to use the wand tool to select the dress)

Duplicate the layer "dress filling" (now call it "shading") and start drawing the shadows, using the airbrush/drawing tool (Size 1-3, Opacity 100%).
Shadows will usually be under the breasts, at the side of the dress, and where the outline show the folds.  Again, don't make them too even or regular, and vary the lengths. (Don't worry if you draw out of the dress, we'll fix that later)

Pick the "smudge tool" (size 2-5, opacity 50-70, depending on whether you have small and delicate folds or bigger ones), and start smudgind the folds. Try to make it even (don't stop three times when smudgind the same bottom folds).

Again, duplicate the layer and name it "highlight". Now you use the drawing tool (size 1, Opacity 100%) in the lightest colour, to add the highlights. They have to be on the breasts, and where you have already defined your folds.

Pick the smudge tool and smudge your highlights (in the same way as we did with the shadows).

Go to the layer "dress filling", pick the wand tool , select the filling and invert the selection.

Return to the layer "shading" and delete the selection. Do the same with layer "highlight".

Now you're done. Add some details (a belt, borders, pattern or a gradient), edit the face makeup or skin colour (this is always a nice touch to make the doll look individual) and make  the  hair!

I hope this tutorial has helped you a bit! If there's anything you want to ask, or to improve about this tutorial, just sign my guestbook or mail me.
Want to know how to do hair?  Take a look at my hair tutorial.