Gold Tutorial (Remastered)

This is a deeper guide than the one that we had before (which marks the end of this tutorial, and it's from 2022). So now, you can witness how different curves act under lighting and shading, rather than just being a sphere.

Honestly, I've always felt that painting metals was really easy. Specially gold. That's why the only tutorial I made over a year ago was about it. If you want me to make a guide on other metals, not only this royal one, just let me know!

(1) As always, I start with a sketch, and linework. I thought that a bell would be a magnificent example for reflections.

(2) The background will be dark, so I choose a neutral yellow-orange, to make a difference. 

(3) With a darker tone, I color the areas where the shadows will lay on. Now, this is an extremely important step. On most metals, reflections are everywhere. So if there's a source of light, a metallic object, and something behind it (let's say it's a wall, for example), the reflection of light clashing on the wall's surface will be cast on the metallic object. So, I won't color the area of the bell which faces that wall.

(4) I smudge it with the base color, and even if it looks like what I mentioned before got lost, it's just part of the plan. In this piece, you can observe that the bell is outside, so nature interacts with it. Dirt, rust, usage, and what else damages with time.

(5) I duplicate the layer, and transform the new one to Multiply, at a 40% transparency. Then, I soft erase the areas where the light is reflected (as seen in step 3). I merge the two layers right away.

(6) Since the colors seem too low saturated, I duplicate the layer again. This time, I convert the new one to Overlay. Now it looks a bit more orange-ish. I merge both layers, as well.

(7) It's time for the direct light to be placed. I use a pale yellow on an Add (Glow) layer, and paint on the opposite areas colored before for the shades. 

(8) I blend and then, merge the layers.

(9) Until now, the reflections of the area surrounding the bell were not showing. That changes now. I paint a dark area on the right side, in a Multiply layer. This shadow will also appear on the bird side, and I also reinforce the shadows of the decorations holding to the wall. Unless you want to make clear what's in front of the metallic object, or just remark that its surface is completely clean, you may not worry too much about the sharpness of the form. 

(10) After merging the last layer, I create a new one to strenghten the light source reflection by using a white-ish color

(11) Here's how it looks after blending and merging both layers.

(12) As I rework the background, I get a better idea on how the place receives the light. So I create a new layer, convert it to Soft Light, and paint with a soft brush the left area. I lower the transparency to 20%.

(13) Some shadows need to be restablished, with a multiply layer.

(14) And finally, my favorite part: the time's touch. Remember that I mentioned the damages before? Here I use a Soft Light layer to paint scratches and dirt, using a pale yellow!


Wanna know a trick? Explore the post which was featured on DeviantArt on July 2022! It was made on Autodesk Sketchbook!