I get asked how I start shading quite often, so here are some quick process shots of the piece I’m working on. I’m terrible for a legit tutorial because I adjust my process depending on the piece and the lighting, but at least here you can see how I’m generally approaching this one.
Basic tips: 1) Layers, use them and make them your friends. 2)Determine where the light is coming from or you’ll be allllll over the place (Im working dark—>light, but you do not have to. Do what is comfortable). 3) I work in a medium grey to do lighting, but don’t forget you can CHANGE THE COLOR. Seriously play with lighting and shadow colors. 4) Don’t be afraid to mess up or try new things. Or mess up WHILE trying new things. Don’t know how to paint metal/hair/fur/gems? Look it up and start TRYING to paint it.
And if something you’re doing looks like shit? Scrap that noise and undo, or toss that layer and start over.
Any questions about specific stuff? Seriously send me an ask, or message on dA. I would be more then happy to help you out to the best of my ability.