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.

CyrilRolandoImage Continue reading is Helpful Resource for Digital Artists


Recently through a website called I found a very helpful website called  that has a lot of helpful tutorial videos for digital painters. This site was created by Matt Kohr an illustrator and concept artist.

I recently went through his entire course catalog on and found it very helpful. The site has wonderful information for beginners and advanced artists alike. His philosophy on tutorials is based more on a foundational approach as opposed to other tutorials which just show the process but not why the artist makes particular decisions. He walks you through the process of creating illustration step by step and the best part is he lets you know his tips, tricks and thoughts. Continue reading