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Light em’ up!

How we choose to light our scenes  is just as important as how we compose them.  Lighting sets the mood.  A harsh red concentrated spot light can make even a sweet painting of a toddler girl feel spooky, and cheerful sunny ambient lighting makes monsters seems friendly.  It directs the viewers eye around the page, emphasizing details or hiding secretive elements.  In short, great lighting makes for great visual storytelling.  By being deliberate about how we choose to light our scenes, we can give our artwork added dimension and drama.  For this post, I would like to share some of my favorite lighting tutorials and resources for artists.

Cyril Rolando is a gifted digital artist whose entire portfolio focuses on high-drama dramatic lighting of surreal fantasy scenes.  He has graciously made many tutorials to share his technique and artistic process with others.  He gives great tips and tricks for digital art in general, and his instructional gallery is well worth browsing thoroughly.   However, I would like to draw attention to Rolando’s tutorial on using adjustment layers in Photoshop to quickly change lighting hues and temperatures to affect the mood of a piece.  Click on the image below to find the full tutorial.

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Free Hour Training on Painting in Sketchbook Pro with Bobby Chiu


Watch concept artist Bobby Chiu paint the new cover art for Sketchbook Pro 6. He starts off by walking you through a very basic tutorial, so if you’ve never used sketchbook before this is a good place to start. He shows you how to use and set up brushes and then moves to showing you all the controls and what they do. After the basic walk-through he gets into the meat of the video and starts his process for creating the cover art for SBP6. Bobby moves into more of his thought process of what it takes to create a drawing which I found very helpful. I always like getting a glimpse of what goes through other artist’s heads when creating their art.

From sketch to finish Bobby shows you step-by-step the entire piece and how it was created. If you’ve got a free hour to sit down and learn sketchbook I would really suggest starting with this video. It’s very helpful. I even learned a few things and I’ve been using this program for the last 3 years.