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Page name: Lighting Magic: The Dolphin [Exported view] [RSS]
2005-07-18 22:02:17
Last author: liiga
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Lighting Magic: The Dolphin

by [liiga]

Disclaimer: the picture picked apart into small pieces during this walkthrough is only there to illustrate the points, and may not be reproduced, copied, traced, siggied, tubed, barbequed or turned into confetti without the author’s explicit permission. Same goes for the rest of the tutorial – but particularly for the picture. And now that you can’t say you didn’t know, let us proceed with the walkthrough.

Suggested Reading:
A Practical Guide to Color ( http://www.epilogue.net/art/tech/socar_color )
The Color Gray ( http://www.gatheringofartists.com/epitome/content/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=85&Itemid=52 )


0. Introduction aka [liiga] Talks Too Much

This walkthrough is dedicated to exploring creating impact and volume with the use of lighting. The tools used in creating this image were Corel Painter 8 (good) and Trust tablet (not so good). In Painter, I used the brush ‘Wet Detail Brush’ from the ‘Acrylics’ tool group, and the blender ‘Grainy Water’ from, you guessed it, the ‘Blenders’ group. ‘Wet Detail Brush’ is a very simple, texture-less brush that I like because of its blending capabilities. It has a nifty little slider entitled ‘Resat’, which allows me to adjust the proportion between blending and painting – i.e. when ‘Resat’ is 0, the brush is a pure blender and when it’s 100 (max), it won’t blend to save its life and will just leave color. Although the default setting is ‘3’, I find it convenient to keep it around 80 or so. At 3 it becomes a little too hard to lay down the color that you’re actually painting with because of the excess blending. As for ‘Grainy Water’, it’s called ‘grainy’ because it can pick up texture from the ‘Paper’ that you can set separately in the program. You can also control how much grain it’ll pick up. It won’t be a whole lot at any given time, but it’s a nice addition without being too distracting. Also, the blender is rather soft in the sense that it won’t drag streaks of color, but rather creates a rather soft transition between colors (if you’re gentle with it). Also it picks up color from underlying layer – something that not all blenders in Painter are good at – so there’s a good reason why it has become the blender of choice for many artists.

A few words about lighting in general – it helps immensely if you think about the things you paint as 3d objects. That way it is easier to figure out how exactly the light will bounce off them and which direction the shadows will go in. Also, ambient and reflected lights are extremely important in making the image coherent. In nature, everything reflects some amount of light – that’s how we’re able to see things at all. Since the reflected light is of different colors, it also means that the surrounding objects are invariably affected by these colors. Translating that into painting techniques, the main idea is to look for objects close to the one you’re painting and adding a little color from object A to object B and vice versa, at the edges where they are the closest to each other. Also, a general tip for round objects would be to add a small light line around the darkest edge of the object. It is also the same reflected light principle, but since our eye is so very used to seeing such things, it will do a great job at making the surface appear more round and 3d. The edge doesn’t have to be large either, as you’ll see in this walkthrough – just a little does the trick.

Now that was an awfully long prelude, so before you’ve left to do something more interesting, I’ll just get on with the walkthrough.

Lighting magic - part one
Lighting magic - part two
Lighting magic - part three
Lighting magic - part four
Lighting magic - part five
Lighting magic - part six
Lighting magic - part seven
Lighting magic - part eight
Lighting magic - part nine

Lighting exercise

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