Shading in Anime Style - MFT Just Add Color

September 5, 2018

It's time for MFT Just Add Color feature for September 2018. The MFT DT members are showing our coloring skills using the latest release

I tried a shading technique called "Anime-Nuri" in Japanese. I'm not sure how it is called in English. But, I think the Cel Shading or Toon Shading is very similar to what I intended to do. In Anime-Nuri, we color images using less shading colors and shades have distinct shapes. It's so hard for me to explain this technique in English. So let me show you a card that I made using this technique.

I stamped the images on watercolor paper with Hot Fudge Hybrid Ink and colored in watercolor. See the shade on the hats, clothes, skin, and pumpkins. Even the highlights on the pumpkins have a shape. 
As you see, these don't look realistic. I sometimes think this way is more suitable for my illustrations as they are NOT realistic. I'm not an expert on this technique, but I wanted to show you another way of coloring. I never say this is easier, but it is simpler than realistic coloring. It is a way that you should try if you only have limited colors of markers and/or you feel some difficulties with realistic coloring, especially for whimsical illustrations.

On the other hand, I love the soft texture that I can get when I use colored pencils, too.
Here I colored all of the images in the Fall Friends stamp set with Copic Markers and colored pencils in my usual coloring style. You can see the cards I made using these HERE and HERE.

 I'm pleased with how the beret looks. Doesn't it look like made of wool felt? :) You can see my coloring process of the girls and the squirrels in a video on the MFT blog or MFT YouTube channel.

Make sure you visit the MFT blog for more coloring inspiration from the DT. 

Thank you so much for stopping by!


  1. Thank you Torico I sometimes think this as well. As much time as I spend blending something I wonder if I should just leave the shadow line there.

  2. If I'm correct this type of shading is basically outlining the image and not blending out the shadow - am I correct?

    1. Yes, you're right! I think it works well for whimsical or deformed illustrations like mine.

  3. Absolutely gorgeous coloring I really like this technique thank you for sharing

  4. I love colored pencils, they take longer but I love the look! Such a cute card!

  5. This is gorgeous! I absolutely adore how you coloured this. Thanks for sharing the technique!

  6. Both coloring styles are AMAZING!!! TFS

  7. I love the look of your "Anime-Nuri". I can't wait to try this when my Fall Friends stamps and die-namics arrive tomorrow! It's such an adorable set.

  8. 「アニメ塗り」とは知りませんでした。塗り方の違いがはっきりわかってとても興味深いです☆ 影がどこに落ちるのかをごまかせませんね(苦笑)どちらのカラーリングもとても愛らしいです。