Digital Painting: Why Hard and Soft Edges will improve your Artwork | Stephanie Böhm | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Digital Painting: Why Hard and Soft Edges will improve your Artwork

teacher avatar Stephanie Böhm, i'm a Illustrator in the Games industry

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (55m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. What are Hard and Soft Edges

    • 3. How to Benefit from them

    • 4. How to Do them

    • 5. Dave, Bob and Homework

    • 6. Demonstration

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class


Hello wonderful people

Are you ready for another how-to-render Video?

Excellent. This time we will become more specific and speak about edge control.

That means mostly hard and soft edges. Sounds super technical, right? But it's not. 

It's very easy and in fact, you use them already all the time.

Probably without even thinking about it. Without knowing what kind of power you have at your disposal. Well, let's change this.

  • So, what are hard and soft edges?
  • How can you benefit from them (and you will!!!)?
  • How to do them?

Plus: how to develop superpowers to control the view of everyone who looks at your pictures?

And this times' bonus question: what the ***** is going on with Michelangelo?

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Stephanie Böhm

i'm a Illustrator in the Games industry


Hi there, nice to have you here.

My Name is Stephanie, I am a professional Artist. An Illustrator and Character Designer and i like to work for games: Video games, Card games, Roleplaying games, Boardgames....and Comics (I'm working on my first one right now...... uhhhhhh exciting)

I am born and raised in Germany, thats why I have an accent and make many mistakes (sorry guys). Right now I live in France with my three-legged dog (actually he has 4 legs, but he use only 3) and my beloved one (who is also making games but as a publisher and writer....and he is a musician....and a feminist...and he makes delicious Quenelle....he is great, really ). I'm learning right now french with his 99 years old grandma (just to say it again...99(!!!!) years......she is amazing).... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Intro: way. Hello, beautiful people. And welcome back to another episode I get quite after messages from you guys were despite away. Amazing. So some questions are more easy and it can just quickly replied him Are doesn't more difficult and more complex. So I thought, Why not making a Q and a video where I will explain it's Today's question is coming from Miele and she would like to know more about heart ends of pictures I mentioned in my hotter in the video in the checked about occlusion shadow. So this is what you will do today because it's an amazing topic and it's been over now you . So in this video we will speak about what our hard and soft just how can you benefit from them? And I promised you will how to do them how to use. So in the first part of this video, I will guide you through some theory. On the second part, we will make a demonstration study together too already practice eyes our knowledge. Okay, let's go. If we owe 2. What are Hard and Soft Edges: So when repaint something. It depends on a lot off elements. Color, composition, light well, you, But also each control out of control. I mean mostly heart and soft edges. So what is his ideas of simple Straight to explain. This is with the brush stroke itself. Well, these is on heart brush with and heart it. And these It's a soft brush that creates a soft touch. Simple is my right. So But what itches? I just defined rare one shape hands and another begins. Let's have a look on this object here, Woz. They were They received a clear separation between background and opted. Does outer lines are sharp and crispy and these are hard edge. It's right. But for sure, we have also those kind of separations. If in the object not all agency are hard, some are more softer because the transition is surround it. So, to understand this point better I have an example of three codes in the first room. The surface meet in an acute angle and all excess here are hot. And this is the moment where my computer die. Why must has happened while recording. Okay, I will see you swim back in the 2nd 1 the edges around it. So at this point, really see a soft touch. And in the last example, we have a single curved surface. For this, we use the software aviation to show the quality off a round object. This shows as old is etched talking is not only limited to different areas or objects, but also to make differences in the shading itself. Okay, here, for example, we have one around surface, okay? And this big radiation here is super soft. But also here because of the super funny reflections. Rehab hard inches and wouldn't you say? Because there is not only a huge, soft, big mares, but also their small heart edge details that have become directly more interesting to look it. Okay, if you don't believe me here a short example. Close your eyes. You don't have to be afraid. This will not be one off this stupid pranks. Okay, so it will still be the same object. Close your eyes and when you open them again, then try to observe how your clay's this Run the ring through the picture. What are spots you're looking at longer or come back again And what art is that? You might be passed faster. Okay, Ready and go. He is a record of how I wash it. Is it anything like the way you also what you did? You have to know that our eyes love contrast when we have sports with higher contest our eyes stay on them longer than areas with less conscious re wonder quickly through but doesn't mean it. From now on you have to throw of contras around you like crazy know know what we want is focus re want areas that are more important than other ones. And to make this area is more important we give them more contrast and more details And this areas that are not so interesting. Less contrast, less detail. We want to create an interesting interplay not drawn Acosta ring all the time. Okay? We also want to have brakes An ice cream 3. How to Benefit from them: This is a painting from the men. If IQ painter and nursed sore, you should Google him. He's really great. He is using mostly hard edges in his painting. What? It's because of his prospect. But do you realize how great our If you can wonder through this picture and long this press strokes. So let's say restart at this face because we love to look at faces. And from there we climb along this process stroke like on a snowy mountaintop up to this corner here and then my maybe get a little bit nervous because everything is so far away. But then we find this dark spots in the background and along them re can't climb all this way back to her face. Okay? And then we can start the circle again, going down on the stripes, off her shirt again over their hands over the newspaper. Have a look at this. Cool. He uh okay. Interesting things that going on Big toe o stare. Oh, and back to her. But now I will change something. Okay? The picture is no glory. And can you realize how this is also changing? Great. How you look at it. Our brain is able to replace informations that I'm missing. That's great, huh? But still rear not staying at one sport as long as before. Now our few is wondering much France. It is image, and it's mostly concentrated on this block work water phase and her hand. Any newspaper. It's like a triangle that created this way. So we jumped much faster from one point to another. So when we have less details and less sharpness, then off you gets far. So if we have more details and more sharpness than we stayed longer in an area so old us tells us etches guiding rate, how we look through an image, we can use them to control the gays off, the fewer to tell him. Now, look here. Now look here. Now look here. Quite powerful. So this lady and gentleman is a painting from Lucca, and I guess you all know him, and it is really great, isn't it? And it creates us this field of tension between violins and innocence. So it's really, you know, you feel something is wrong and it's great, but okay, we want to speak about edge. It's so when we look at this image. Our first look. It's going depending how big we see it on the light and area. Or if we can be more closer than we find her face and from their own desirable, be more a focal point for us. From her face, we wandered down along her breast and arm to his hand and up his arm Schuler and spectra her So it quits. Rarely. Nice circle. And we can also try something else like her hair. So we go their own her hair. And from there we jump to this shadow in the background. It is a little bit tree shaped And from there, which under the shadow over his head, Uh, now to her face, because our eye doesn't only enough contrast, but also when things are similar to each other. So in this case, the shadows have a senior. Well, you and our I troops this well used and concentrate on them. Okay, as an example, um, concentrate now on these flowers here. So when you have, um, don't you jump also toe all this other princess and be even on the hunt for more? And no matter where you are in this picture, it somehow pull you back in this kind off vortex that lands again on the focal point area, you see good composition. It's mostly in flowing circular movements that always return back to the focus. Everything that is important from CA. He provides with a high level off detail and sharpness and everything that it's less important loses sharpness and level of detail, and the movement of our eyes becomes faster to get back to the interesting places. You know, it's like a ribbon. The something like this. You can make your own politics. This was a nice foretaste off what you can do with your etch control and how you can turn your picture in a masterpiece. But we're not there. I mean, it depends on your level. Maybe you already A But why are you watching this video? But before you run away and practice eyes how you can control diffuse gays to your picture , you have to make a few steps back and have to learn the fundamentals, because I'm sorry to say it is better fundamental, the super important, and only when we understand how things are working, reality re can motive by them to use them for our own things. So what leads to how to paying soft and heart teachers 4. How to Do them: Okay, lets go there for back to our first object. So in most cases, heart edges and soft transitions facing each other like here as self transition runs into a hard edge Audie Attari around or here? Spoiler Warning. This will be also a demonstration study object for later we have heart lines that merge into soft radiations. A good orientation will be also how you would draw this. I know shades. Just let's like this. It looks pretty much Is that right? So really would draw a line in your trolling. You would also pain. Ah, hard edge in your painting. I will pick up here. Another contacts. Let's talk about oh, collusion Shadow. So the question is also coming because of my first video. How Drenner in the chapter about occlusion shadow So it makes sense to bring this also as an example. You remember If you watch this video this character, let's now for a moment, click all layers off and let's only the one with the occlusion shadow. And now I wrote, pick on the layer with my outline. Did you notice something the like of of the Ivy? For most hard edges are along the old lights and for sure. Also, most of the time we have hard edges that change into soft radiance. Okay, I will soon hear within. Oh, gosh. Now I see how sloppy I made this. Sorry. So budget, where you see areas that start Griffin Heart Itch I released another pressure. So but also areas that started with an heart edge Go our in the soft radiant. Okay, Also here hard edge along the R line turns into soft ingredient. So we can just who does know of everything from here? We'd going in this direction from here, going this direction and it describes wall You okay, here we are, the like It's going into the foot Soft radium on the roll. You off this lech God's described. Okay, I guess you get this point, huh? Hard edge transfer into sock radiation and describing the wall yume off the object. In the beginning of the video, we had already to classic examples Heart bush, soft parts matter. We want to have this exchange from hard to soft. So how are we doing this? And therefore we have quite a lot off different methods. I want to show you five so for the first run Re need a heart edge No matter of fifth trance fair without transfer like you want Just for an example I will take without okay And we have a shape on. Then we take a soft eraser, Uh, something like this and re arrays against So and this race recreate a soft Grady int heart fresh, softer razor does example one number two It's the same just the Editori around. So we take a soft brush this time, Andrea, race with a heart, a razor against it. And this is create e our heart inch. So number story is with the letter tool. I used this technique quite often in my hotel. In the video, you draw your shape with a few less tool and then you take the soft brush Still in right. Yet then you take this off fresh and gentle paint into New York radiation so and again we have heart ached to describe our form and we have a soft radiation insight and Henry of the classical right off painting. So really take a pressure. You can take whatever you want on the texture of our text. So I would recommend it has some trance fair and beat off softness. Not too much, but it's just easier to planet in. I will take a round brush on trance fair Hardness is around 80. This the color picker Make a process. You pick your makeup rash pick like you can already tell It needs some exercise in the benefit from the ring is it looks more painterly. So does this nice. And it also gives our I more trip. So what we already spoke about And, for example, the painting from Anderson. So this is great, but for sure it takes quite long. And you need some practice eyes to get used to this. What I like to to make this a bit more handy. I like to make an under painting. So with a soft brush, I already bring into SSM ground tones. And because design would look sometimes depending what you want to do would be to artificial and it's missing the Crip. Then I can bring some more pressure strokes back. So our I has something to clean up. Okay, these are Upton number for and now the last wrong lifter. So much to work. Okay, Re taek a more harder brush again. It's and you will find this much tour here. So this much tool, it's the same, like with erasure or our brush. We can use the same a library, so every brush that you have here, you can use swift as much tool and depending which kind of pressure using you can create very different but great effects. Just have to be a bit careful and try around to not overdo it. But used wisely, it can be very helpful. So and those were our five options. I mean, they also more, but we let it go five. 5. Dave, Bob and Homework: Now we're ready to go with our demonstration. So this will be like I already mentioned our study object, and I can recommend, in general to make studies from sculptures because they are amazing to make studies from no matter what you want to study. Let's say you want to make an attorney amazing, because most of them are humans and naked past point. Well, let's say you want to concentrate on on light on your brush work on well, years. So this is very nice because you don't get irritated from colors or too much details, and you can just concentrate on the simple forms. So I highly have you recommended. You have to know. Before I decided to make a study from this eyeball, I was a little bit more ambitious and thought, Oh, yeah, I want to make it least a whole face, maybe even a little bit more because it is always interesting to make the whole face structure. This is right. I made this. And now you see who is the owner off this? I nobody else than the famous have. It's David. There beats from Michelangelo. You have to know that I never saw him in original. I only know him from photos And the most classical photos, You know, our one frontal standing. So when I decided to Oh, yeah, I want to make a whole study from him. Ah, let's see. What could I do? What could I do? Oh, yeah. I want to have to face or not. Just in profile a little bit more frontal. What do I have here? And then they let it at this short. And what what if our distance? What? What is he holding in his hand? But strangely eggs offer a warm a Penis alien creature. So I decided to give it a name for me. This smell, Bob. So Dave and Bob, I think it was a good combo. Anything they would be amazing for merchandise. Can re imagine this for a moment. Merchandise article with David and Bob. So maybe I have to make another version of him and most stylized version. And maybe we can even do this together. This could be a very fun video, So yeah. Tell me, are you also in team Dave and Bob and think that these is some Chloe shit? Okay. Yeah, but it took too long, Ray. Too long for a simple demonstration. This is why I went back and decided to just go with the Bible. Simpler, Faster, easier. Yeah, and these will be also your homework. I would like if you make a study from a sculpture. You don't have to make the whole thing. It's enough if you just pick a detail like I do here and concentrate on how to use soft and hard edges to make your rendering. We don't want to go already in the super crazy artistic rate. Right now we want to stick with the fundamentals. So just observe who ran re use soft edges and when heart. I just get use. Okay, so I want to see this. And like, all raise. Put it in the project gallery. Or if you want to pulse it on social media and please use the hashtag skill, shave with Stephanie or take my name. I am always super amazed and happy when I can see things. Did you guys do so? Thank you. And just as an explainer already I will make a demonstration later is not directly follow. What is not important for you. Just you know I will not use the camera when I will make my recording, because it would be already doing tonight. That's like it is. We all have to adapt. So this is the moment of wire will already say goodbye to you. I mean, you know, please, for two demonstration. But, you know, thank you for watching on follow meals. Get share, fall of units the ground and we will see each other in the next video and now demonstration time, you know. 6. Demonstration: So this will be our life demonstration. I already make my drawing here on die already make my stone block. Okay. I like to make a new layer clip. Mask it so everything will stay in my shape. And that's the first. I would like to take care with a bits off brush like it's the pain in his radiations that we have here. So light is coming from here, so it's a bit more darker here on on the sites. I will merge this together so and no, I will take care about my shadows. I like to use around fresh on transfer here like this. And they will do this quite roughly. Just as Yes and rough Starting point. That's, you know. Okay. Yeah, like this. And now I want to go more into detail. So I erased now outs this areas that I don't need. So here we have a crispy heart edge. Cerebral use mind. That's a tool. Um, I also like to after I make a selection to hide this lines of those control eight. So it's invisible. It's also imitating on. Then I take a trance fair racer. So I just call it. It's right. So it's but there it is, like the brush that I used for painting just as an eraser. And now I raise. Yeah, it was livid too much. So I paint it back into it again. Yes and no. Where have already this limitation here? Uh, so this I will uses going on select and in verse. So now my selected area It's not diesel anymore about everything else. Hey, see? So everything else I want to make us a bit figure So I have enough room. I'm a girl on a soft brush I'm gonna make this invisible again and no brush into gentle and softly This transition here also make my outlines invisible for a moment to see how this is . Okay. My selection was not very clean, but it's OK. Come on. We don't want Is Tracy too much? It's just to show principles. I see here this area is starker. So I would probably give a bit more here in this area on probably with a soft brush race. Share a bit out again. So now we have this side. Let's take care about this. Run here The control, the I d select my selection And now I can paint in your own. My hands are shaking today. Then we'll use it. Just had coffee. I want to have this. Well, we have these cost shadow from this I lit here. Beauty, I guess you know how eyes constructed, But just to be sure, So we have to I bowl and then we have this opera cleats, and there's a lower lip. The light is coming from here. These is in shadow. And this is also in shadow where this area here gets a bit more light from the sun. Okay, so I know we take care about the show that this I leave is projecting on the eyeball. Okay, So remember again? Yeah, I want to take care. But the cast shadow from the upper eyelid, and there are again church bells. Ah, I guess my whole life I always lived super close to a church and having the sounds around me. I can't remember any apartment, but this was not the case. I know Joy that because they're just churches one every What? What? What is the right distance between? It doesn't matter. Okay, um, I rents to light here. Let's try to find our shadow tone from before Also make us a bit bigger. Is I made too soft? Because this itch, it is not like crispy, crispy heart, but still quite hard again. Not a good painting day. You have to excuse me for the is by the way, huh? On probably use. All right, now that I make this mistake to erase something here and for sure, I can just girl back of control sets to make us unhappy Man made is also a good possibility to use this much tool. Cruz, you can easily repair such mistakes, fuller and everything is calling in Los because this edge here is also less strong. So I will also soft in this area with too much toe. Have it up and we can already. I mean, it's not yet time to do this, but just because I'm already there I know I should really not do this already. Read their I don't it? What did it say? So it doesn't get too dark And the hits home Okay, just line up. And now I want to take care about this dark shadow here. No collusion Shadow Argo e guess you all know how much I love occlusion. Shadow. It is so great. It's so satisfying. So I will use a deep shadow at home. And now we're we gently from the other side. Crush this in it. So we have a nice sharp line, but make me saying that I never know its internal Never. But I close to never Lear makeup because I just did. Not really. I learned how to do this. So I guess my mom, she was never we did using makeup. And when I was a teenage girl, you know, we'll probably Oh, yeah, I had this one san, and she was teaching me everything That wasn't the case. My friends rambled so much like this. So I never really learned to make a solid, uh, eye shadow or eye liner. And now, as adult movement that I year And I tried to use this right now. Ah, if you, uh, I refuse those trip it, He's a stupid and we have no idea how to do this. Uh, but it they're I guess, their versus things in life than not knowing how to use makeup to kill a bit too dark for my taste. Just wrong here. Well, push against it. Hand this line here. So this so therefore I will inroads my selection again. Um, take care off this shadow e that that about my home? Oh, yeah. It's a bit lighter on probably, you know, why gets later? Because off the reflection off this I let here I let I let I'm single True if I'm really promotes in a rental So you know the light here reflecting their use your even more close A So it's even more lighter. It's in lighter without more, even more light. Ah, guys, eso is so annoying to be so limited with language and not knowing how to speak correctly. Ah, really a con grade till there's something like in plantations in our brains. And then I just have to play software and then it can speak any language in the world in live in five minutes. This would be amazing. Okay, that's click off our still a long way to go. I had to done this directly when I had this election. This was bad. I would it is now. So I can't even make the smaller because there the ball is starting. So just this port. I really can still use the same tone, but chest be very soft and gentle and, you know, did it? No, it's OK. It's OK. It's OK. It's not pretty. Want to want the same thing that it's OK. Um, so now let's take care about it. Is here and think about this. Elections don't try to do the whole thing in one flow. This were mostly not work out. Okay, well, we have now a big surf it. So I want to make this a bit more soft, so I think a soft brush. So the highest point is here with us. Online is really coming. So I would say this you could make you like her. Yep. Shiny makes me saying that I should paint this also the lighter. I did not done this, and it was on it to do this. Oh, guys, you see all my flaws here, but at least, um, there was probably also a nice example for nobody's perfect. Oh, no. I want something harder, because now we have year. Ah, harder edge. So go this one again. Um, yeah. So this is really our center. So because this is very soft I would like to have more per strokes here. For sure. I is very, very smooth. It's not so much texture, but first a phobia few stone and second, This was our main focus point. So I would like we have a bit more lines to give our I more crypt to look at this. I painting is in the end nothing else and correcting correcting things all the time. Okay, I will take care of birth. This'll corner here. Okay, let's take care about's this'll whole party. Look how it's popping out. Good, good. I mean, this is no again for my taste a bits to heart. So I will paint beat against it. I won't know here to erase all this area's out to shut out that I don't need so on the cool thing because I had still my under layer. You know, if this very slightly I can just raise this out. I use a bit a roundness here, so I will try to bring this a bit more back ago because this is a reflecting on our eye ball. I mean, on the lower I lit, so this is a little bit more illuminated than the cast shadow that we have here. So this is too much. Probably, huh. And I would moment to use another layer to do this so I can race. It's easy out. This is not too hard for me. We don't see such a hard edge here, So unless here just does this move for a better. Okay. All right. What is next way? Go on. Years. I think I can Okay, let's take care about this hair structure. I e bro. I grow. I will try to do this now. Exactly. It's all those texts. Probably already. I mean, this is a smooth transition. I will have to paint into this. I can general a race these out, son. Instead, I will make to selection to rule whatever states that I little bit like this so close to to the line. It's more than a core and going away from this line, it's a it's lighter. It's no good wishy washing. - So right now I'm just going through it, see what it regards what I could still correct again. He didn't want to lose launched. I think this is always the problem. First, you don't want to do the extra work, and then you can't stop doing extra work. This is also a great example. Bold. You take. This is the last one, uh, you know, body. We have a lot off this very slightly. William changes. These very slightly lines are true. Ah, I catch a so to speak. Oh, where you have when you have a big mess where, uh, nothing is happening. Um, this kindof lines really given nice and round off detail to to a surface, I would also make some more highlights. It is also love too soft. I wound it more on a bit more texture here. No, because here, um, these are really highlighted sport spots. You know what? It would also guide to the center, and I wont that there there are a few more strokes. So again, our few has more crip When Rhonda ring to our centerpiece, was it? If I Yeah, OK, why don't I can even make a slightly over plume year paper because this is, um, kid has really something. Uh huh. Close to Chloe. So that's right out. No better. That's why, with his better having those on the separated layer and then making you soft. So we have still is harder. Etch under this getting infected my thesis and I'll like it tonight. Slight glow General, in this Mr Being pried her, you know, we could get hysterically hit from our light sores. Yeah, taking a bit out, but letting some crush texture in it for a bit more crypt only this is a bit too much. Uh huh. Sound Since this also, I curved, sir Face, you know, going more this I have to do, mate. This area was a little bit more. I mean, not so 100 It okay , before it was more under point and give more attention to treat Bridget. So I guess I want more like this. I mean, I could really go on and still more and more. Do you? Oh, yeah. I just thought can overall corners a bit more to go to more attention to the middle. Uh, yeah. Uh, e repeat myself all the time. Like let's stop it on Just this one thing. Let's stop it on just this one thing. But not really really. That's I'd stop this. Stop. This should be enough, OK? Yeah, it's enough