Easily find Shading Colours

Inkscape tutorial

This tutorial is about a way to easily find your shading colours. I am not into colour theory – having worked by instinct most of the time – so picking the shading colours to me is not a big decision.

Today I received that very question on the blog [again] and after a quick try I came up with this:
2Dgameartguru inkscape toolbar

Let’s get started

2Dgameartguru - spacer
2Dgameartguru - colour mixer

Start with a simple shape in your base colour.

Add two more shapes overlapping the base shape in colours you want to use for shading.

I prefer to avoid plain white and black for the shading.

Change the opacity of the shader objects to get a mixed colour.

Duplicate the shader objects and change the level of opacity.

They don’t need to align – it can even be helpful for them to overlap to find the right colour.

2Dgameartguru - colour shader
2Dgameartguru - colour mixer

Grouping all the light coloured shaders and the dark ones allows you to quickly change colours.

Using the colour picker you can now choose a colour from your ‘shader objects’ with one click.

2Dgameartguru - spacer 2dgameartguru - colour mixer

This is a version using 10% differences and a cleaner layout. Using a couple of these with the base colours of your illustration above your design are will allow quick picking of matching colours.

2Dgameartguru - spacer

As usual, my advise is to play around with it. There is no need to go with white as a highlight shader. Try a light yellow or a if the colour theme is “under the water” maybe a light blue will do the trick. A warm green should look good for a dense forest, jungle feel while a shading with red would be an alarm colour. Think neonlight illumating the objects.

I hope this tutorial on finding colour for highlight and shading was helpful! Enjoy!


Here‘s a file with the ‘rectangle version’.

2Dgameartguru basics - circles
2Dgameartguru basics - squares
2Dgameartguru basics - shading
2Dgameartguru basics - align
2Dgameartguru basics - picking colours