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 - 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 - 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.

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