Magi’s Drawing Shenanigans – Shading and Hats!

So, update time! So, the other day, I talked about my struggles and all of that when it comes to drawing! After sitting down and drawing for the majority of the day… I think I fixed some of it? My issues were as follows:

  • Shading
  • I can’t draw other things apart from my OC.
  • I can’t draw the hat consistently.

But thanks to pointers by Rewyu, I was able to figure out how to shade stuff. You basically create a layer that has low opacity (~25%) and set it to “multiply”. Then you take colours like blue or red or whatever you want really depending on your style and you shade it differently. Thanks to tutorials I saw online (can’t find them sadly), I learned about “hard” and “soft” shadows and in the end, I think I got the hang of it. I still gotta figure out brushes and sizes to make it look better but generally, I tend to just “paint” the shades where I want them and then I use the soft eraser to lessen the impact. Hard shadows are where objects block sunlight directly (example: Your face under the hat directly). Soft shadows are less harsh line-wise and basically, appear in areas that are not in direct but indirect light.

As you saw in the header image, I worked on a few sketches (more on those later) and tried applying those shading techniques as I saw fit. In this picture over here I used a cyan-like tone to shade with. It looks a lot more dreamy and works pretty well for the mage-aesthetic.

The red shading over here, though, is a lot warmer and more natural (?) if that makes sense. I think it works pretty well for what I’m going with but I can see myself also changing to blue shades instead based on pretty much what looks better. I could also see myself using both techniques or even a different colour, like orange or green, based on what colour scheme I’ve got going on.

Now, as for the sketches: The goal was to change the hat to something that I can recreate more reliably. To illustrate my thought process, I added some numbers just now. At first, I wanted to see how much “darkness” I can get away with. I tried making a pointy hit that is angled upwards so that you can only see the downside of it. This looked pretty good, to be fair, but now the face is just not visible. Given that I want to redraw my current emotes, I figured that this would be hard to do because of readability and frankly, dark mode on Twitch. The second attempt was to basically just recreate the current iteration of the hat and how it looks in general. It’s alright and relatively easy to draw but even this sketch here took me a while to get “right”. The third attempt was a bit of a joke, to be fair, as I tried recreating a Final Fantasy black mage… but I then changed the colours again to my original colour scheme and while the hat looks pretty great, it also looks too much like the FF-one. It’s a lich and necromancer, not a black mage. “Duh.” Also, copyright. Still, this sketch proved to me that it can look good even without the “gem” at the top. 

My fourth attempt was where it’s at. I basically quickly tried creating the current hat but added little triangles to the middle part as some sort of decoration. I was thinking about runic symbols or something but I then realised that it looks like a mouth… so I added eyes… and I love it. It also reminds me of Rabadon’s Deathcap in League of Legends, which looks pretty neat. Speaking of League of Legends sketches no. 5 and 6 were inspired by Veigar. Frankly, I love that character and tried out doing something with that. Sketch no. 5 is closer to Veigar, I guess but won’t work because of readability. Meanwhile, sketch 6 looks super cute, if I do say so myself, but something bothered me about it, honestly…

And then I came back to the “eyes on hat” idea and just doodled something, deleted that, doodled again, and eventually came up with the hat that is alive. Potentially inspired by Harry Potter and Digimon… anyway, Sketch no. 8 shows the current iteration that I’m super stoked about. My issue so far was that I couldn’t recreate the hat reliably because it’s an accessory and not the main feature of the drawing. I mean, it’s the hat, right? But WHAT IF the hat is alive… and the main feature? In my emotes, my character is only really recognizable because of the hat. Once the hat is out of the picture, it either looks weird or you can’t recognize it. Hence, the current plan is to create emotes where the hat is the main attraction, if you wanna call it that. The hat’s always in the picture and you really only see the eyes below it. What’s more, is that my current mock-up “UwU” emote is basically looking absolutely adorable. I won’t show it here yet as I still am not 100% satisfied with it but I can’t wait to release the emotes slowly 

I still can’t draw dogs or other characters but if I change my approach to things like these, I may be able to rework all of my emotes successfully… I’m pretty excited about all the things possible with the concept I have in store right now… and eventually, I’ll work on a 2D Vtuber model and… I think this concept right here might work just fine for that project! I’m stoked… and it took me only all-day today to come to this conclusion, so, the hat is alive!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well. If you find this post on a website other than, please write an e-mail to me. Thank you!

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