Tonal Value: Constructs & Vehicles #3

Welcome to the final post on tonal value from me!

shipinksSimilarly to the two space station illustrations in the previous posts, once again we start with an inked piece, with a good chunk of the value work complete in sheer black and white. What sets this apart from the others however is the large array of thrusters on the back of the shuttle.


We start with… you guessed it, a gradient! I’ve deliberately placed the primary light source shining on the shuttle as opposite to the thrusters as I can. Whilst it doesn’t guarantee a sense of depth – especially if care is not taken over the values – a secondary light source can do a huge amount to add to the believability of an image. By having the two light opposite ends of the shuttle, I hope to better describe it as a 3D object.

shipdetailsPanels and shadowing is added, as before, to give the shuttle character. However, most noticeably, a large amount of light glare from the thrusters now shows too. The fact that they give off more glare compared to the stars helps to show the distance between the two – though remember that the amount of light isn’t only relative to the distance of an object. If this shuttle had been closer to a star, or something as large as the sun was pictured, it would dwarf the amount of light emitting from the shuttle. Be sure to keep factors like that in mind when working.


Once more, here’s the breakdown of the steps. Whilst the artworks I’ve demonstrated these techniques on are less polished than final paintwork, the basic knowledge is still necessary and relevant.



Here’s the three images all together!

It’s been a blast to create all of these value posts for you guys, and I really hope you’ve enjoyed them. I’ve recounted everything I know about value, and learned new things along the way. In the interest of also proving that I – and all of us – am only human, I’ve even recounted and been forward about my mistakes! I’ll continue to learn new things, study, and improve the values in my work, and I hope you guys enjoy your studies too!

For my final two posts, I’ll be looking at the new Windsor & Newton brushmarkers! Since this is the end of my value posts on the Letraset blog, I wish you all best of luck. Feel free to keep up with my work or send me questions at!

About En Gingerboom

I’m a non-binary transgender queer storyteller with an interest in philosophical and societal issues. Above all, I’m interested in humanity, compassion and equality, which tend to be what my comics are about! I'm a member of UK-based manga studio Sweatdrop, and you can find my work at P.S. My pronouns are ey, em, and eir, but they, them and their are acceptable too.
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