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Vertex Week: using strong shadows in portrait painting with Cynthia Sheppard

Using strong shadows in portrait painting with Cynthia Sheppard

For Vertex Week 2022, here is an excellent tutorial on using strong shadows in portrait painting from fantasy illustrator Cynthia Sheppard (opens in new tab). A self-proclaimed art director by day and illustrator by night, Sheppard was senior art director for legendary strategy card game Magic: The Gathering.

As an illustrator, Sheppard focuses on emotional resonance and visual storytelling with her ethereal, moody illustration art. Her work plays with light and dark in stunningly, making her the perfect teacher for this shadow-focused tutorial.

Love this tutorial? Then try our other incredible Vertex Week workshops, including Erik Ly's guide to getting better at digital illustration in Photoshop. Or why not learn how to create an art book with pro advice from designer and publisher Spiridon Giannakis.

If you'd like some shiny new tools for your digital art, see our roundup of the best drawing tablets out there. Need a new pen? See our pick of the best stylus for Android.

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Georgia Coggan is a regular freelance contributor for Creative Bloq, who has also worked on T3 and Top Ten Reviews. With a particular interest in branding and retro design, Georgia writes about everything from logo design to creative technology, enjoys hunting down genuinely good deals and has even used her knowledge as an ex-teacher to create buying guides on products including children's books and bookcases. Tying these design interests together is an obsession with London Underground posters from the last century.