Understanding Lighting Principles for Digital Painting | Samuel Smith | Skillshare

Understanding Lighting Principles for Digital Painting

Samuel Smith, Visual Development Artist

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17 Lessons (2h 28m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Welcome

    • 3. Influences

    • 4. What we will do in the course

    • 5. Workspace and brushes

    • 6. Soft light Vs Hard light

    • 7. Exposure, reflections and translucency

    • 8. Preparing the drawing

    • 9. A Sunny Day - Part 1

    • 10. A Sunny Day - Part 2

    • 11. A Cloudy Day

    • 12. A Starry Night

    • 13. A Room Under Colored Light

    • 14. A Sunny Room

    • 15. Wrapping up the sunny scene

    • 16. Wrapping up the artificial light scene

    • 17. Concluding remarks

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About This Class

Learn how to adapt your digital illustrations to a series of natural and artificial lighting conditions on Photoshop

Mastering light is a skill that has fascinated artists and illustrators throughout history, for its unparalleled capacity to infuse an art piece with realism and define its atmosphere. Samuel Smith describes his fascination with light as more of an obsession, constantly analyzing his surroundings to understand how it works and apply it to his art. He has worked as a visual development artist for animations on many commercials, TV shows, and two feature films, including Klaus at SPA Studios and another upcoming animated film from Illumination Studios.

In this course, Samuel shows you how to stimulate light into your work using a logical methodology that he developed over the last two years and Adobe Photoshop to apply his simple process to five different light settings. Understand how light behaves and how it affects the elements in your work to quickly resolve any light situation.


Start the course by getting to know Samuel, who tells you about the artists that have influenced his work, to guide you through new discoveries and sources of inspiration.

Samuel provides a quick recap of what you’ll do in the course and shows you how he sets up his workspace. Go through the main tools you’ll be using on Photoshop, seeing some shortcuts and brushes along the way.

Next, understand how soft light differs from hard light and how it affects the objects you illustrate, to bring more realism and cohesion to your digital paintings. Samuel also introduces some key concepts such as the theory behind reflections of light sources and light diffusion.

Learn how to recognize different types of light, select the illustrations you’ll be working on, and begin painting your first scene, a bright sunny day. Go through ambient light, direct light, and bounce light, and experiment with different light directions.

Move on to painting a cloudy day, focusing on its many intricacies, such as warm colors for dark spots, very soft transitions, and more. Then, paint your character in a moonlit scene, learning about the ideal color range to give it a night feel, and how to bring more color variety into your painting.

In the next exercise, work on artificial sources of light in an interior at night. Learn about colored lights in an interior, and how they affect your setting. Follow up on another interior setting at daytime, one of Samuel’s favorite lighting situations. See how he paints soft lights on different surfaces, to give your illustration more depth and realism.

Push the realism in your paintings even further by working on the details. Learn the principles of reflection and translucency to add more texture to your work, and go back to each setting to apply what you’ve learned and give the final touches to your five illustrations.



1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Samuel Smith. I'm a visual development artist. This means I paint images to help define the look of animated movies. Over the years, I have worked for several animation studios on commercials, TV shows, and movies, such as the movie Clouds for Netflix. The purpose of my work is to facilitate the complex process of making CG movies by painting specific moments of the film describing the lighting. In order to understand how light works, you need to know the characteristics of it, how it reflects on characters, how it reacts on surfaces, where the source is located, and how it works under different conditions, like direct, indirect, cloudy or a sunny day. When you start learning this and practicing how to translate it into digital painting, you can paint any lighting situation without having to rely on references. Photoshop is my best ally when it comes to digital painting. It allows me to create brushes that are suited to my needs and adjust light in order to create any scenario I have in mind. In this course, you will learn the principles of light theory as they apply to digital illustration. As a final project, we will be painting the same scene five times, each time with a completely different lighting situations. First, I'll show you my Photoshop workspace and the tools that we will use, then we will learn about concepts such as soft light and hard light exposure, reflections, and translucency. We will start preparing our illustration by creating a basic sketch of a simple character and a minimalistic background. Once this is done, we will create another version of the background to have an interior and exterior scene. Next, we will start painting our illustration under different lighting conditions, a sunny day, a cloudy day, and a starry night. Also, we will paint a room under sunny day and under artificial colored lights. Finally, we will add some details that will push the realism of our painting, and we will demonstrate the principles of reflections and translucency that you will have learned during the course. By the end of this course, you'll be able to understand lighting in order to achieve great illustrations for your projects. In order to take this course, I recommend you have basic digital painting skills. Also, you will need a drawing tablet with Photoshop installed. This course is for anyone who wants to take their digital illustrations to the next level. It's also recommended for professional artists who want to further their understanding of light and color. Learn to apply the principles of light into your own digital paintings. 2. Welcome: Hi. My name is Sam. I'm a Visual Development Artist for animation. That means that I paint to try to translate a director's vision into images. I focus on lights and color, and in my work I produce a lot of color keys. These are simple images that we paint to help the Lighting Department figure out how to light a certain scene. I've always been drawing in my notebooks and on the tables, I think it was mostly an escape from boredom where I felt free as I'm sure many of you do. However, I never thought that I could do this as a job, and that I had what it took to make it as a professional artist. After high school, I went to a 3D art school, and for a while I was certain that I would become a 3D animator. I had long been fascinated by digital art, but I was certain that there was no way that I could manage to accomplish this. I thought you had to be gifted from the heavens to be able to produce the kind of amazing images I was seeing online. Then one day I stumbled upon an incredible archive of progress from an amazing artist called Miles Johnston. He was very young at that time and already working professionally as an artist, and he had recorded all of his progress year by year during six years. This was the first time that I realized that anyone willing to put enough time and effort into this could learn to do it, and that maybe I had a chance of becoming a professional artist. I started learning to paint digitally in 2013. I had no idea what I was doing, but I quickly became very interested in how light works and why colors look the way they do. Once I learned that some people were specializing only in painting color and light for animated movies, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I became quite obsessed with figuring out how light works. I'm a very logical person, so I knew there had to be some kind of reasoning behind all of these different phenomenons. One of the first things that put me on the right track was Mike's Azevedo's color basics tutorial. I did a lot of Google searches for all the questions I had. Questions like; why was the sky red at sunset or why was it blue in the first place? Why did shadows sometimes look sharp and bluish, or why were there sometimes no shadows at all? Most importantly, I started constantly observing the world around me, stopping to think and analyze every time I saw light behaving in a way that I didn't expect or understand. Through continuous research and observation, I eventually started to figure out the logic behind it all, which allowed me to paint light in a more truthful and efficient way. After a while I started getting some small freelance jobs, which kept me going and gave me time to study more and acquire better skills. One day I saw an Internet that Sergio Pablos was looking for a color artist for his new movie, Klaus. I had been following the development of that project for a while, and I sent my portfolio to them as a joke because I was sure that they would go for someone with more experience than me. But two months later, I had completely forgotten about it and I received an e-mail from the studio asking me if I was available for a video interview. They had actually appreciated my very logical approach to light as it corresponded to the way they were lighting the movie. I spent a year and a half there painting more than 450 color keys and learning a lot about light, cinematography, and movie-making in general. I was very interested in every part of the process because I had always wanted to make my own short film one day. I'm actually doing this now using everything that I learned there. Because I had to paint so many images in a short time, I started looking for ways to improve my efficiency. Through many attempts at simplification and experimentation, I ended up with a very simple method which I'd like to teach you now in this course. I'm very excited to explain to you my understanding of color and light. Now that you know a bit about me, in the next lesson I'll introduce you to some of my influences. 3. Influences: Now that you know a bit more about me, let's talk about influences. I have many, many influences and inspirations, but I tried to pick a few artists that have really influenced and develop the way that I work. Let's have a look. The biggest influence on my work is definitely the legendary at Japanese animation, Director Hayao Miyazaki. If you've seen his films, then you know why he is the best. If you haven't seen them, I strongly recommend that you watch all of them. He made a lot of wonderful movies, but also mangas, which is a bit less known. I'm very inspired not only by the movies and mangas he created, but also by his mindset and his work ethic, in general. He is a man who really aspires to show the beauty in the world. He wants to make movies for young people to give them hope, and show them that the world can be a good place. He really wants to spread a message of hope and fascination for nature. This is something that I would really like to show in my own work as well. Next, I'd like to talk about Kazuo Oga, who was the director on many of Miyazaki's movies including Totoro and Mononoke. Their work and the work of studio chiefly background artists has been very influential on my work. One of the main reasons I got so much into painting landscapes and backgrounds was because I watch these movies as a kid and the impression they made on me, I think their work speaks for itself. I particularly like the way that they represent the beauty of nature. These backgrounds really take you into the world of the movie. I think that's really important. The themes, in general, as well. This comes more from Miyazaki, but the way they're executed in these backgrounds is always stunning. Next is the work of Dice Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo. These two artists have a very similar style and they formed a studio together called Tonko House. They made an amazing short movie called The Dam Keeper that I highly encourage you to watch. These two artists have been very, very influential in the way I paint because they have a very naturalistic way of depicting lights that is at the same time very simplified, and their work really helped me to understand how all of this works. They also have a wonderful course online that you can look up to learn about how all of this works in detail. I really enjoy the way that they play with light. They were both are directors at Pixar before they left to create their own studio. I'm showing some images from both of them here mixed, and you can see very similar feeling. I think it's very interesting to see two artists who really understand each other that much on the way they like to paint and to create, which allows them to collaborate beautifully. Joaquin Sorolla is one of my favorite painters. He was a painter active at the end of the 19th and beginning of 20th century. He made a lot of his paintings on the beach, actually in Javea in the South of Spain. This is why a lot of his painting have very strong sense of sunlight, and I really enjoyed that. Like here, where we can see these rays of sunlight coming through the walls and onto those characters is very bold brushstrokes indicating a very strong sunlight. He has an incredible use of color. He was depicting all kinds of variations of hue. You see these simple white dresses have green, violet, purple, blue, sometimes yellow. It's really fascinating. This is a great example of incredibly bright colors that all fit together. Still a realistic picture, but it seems like he was enjoying emphasizing saturation of color is very much, and it helps to fill that strong sense of sunlight. It is a much more subdued example, but you can see like the amount of variation of color that we have on this simple white bed has all these different colors reflecting from around the room onto this white sheet. He has a fascinating depiction of water also. It's hard to imagine how he was doing this without photographs or anything. He was just standing on the beach making studies and then creating these kinds of paintings. I think he's a really great example of vibrant colors that feel natural. If you go to Madrid, if you have a chance to visit his museum, it's absolutely incredible. You can see a lot of these paintings for yourself. These are just a few of the artists that inspire me, but I have included in the additional resources some links to many other artists if you want to check that out. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about what we will do in this course. 4. What we will do in the course: Now that you know about me and my influences, let's talk about what we're actually going to do in the course. I'm going to show you a process that I use to quickly and efficiently setup a lighting situation for any image that I want to paint. We'll be painting the same scene five times with different lighting conditions, focusing on how the scene is affected when the light situation changes. I like this method because although it might not be the ultimate answer to every question you have about lighting, I think it's a very good starting point to understand the logic of light, how it works, how it bounces off objects. Learning this method will allow you to never feel stuck when trying to find the color scheme for your digital paintings, because it will allow you to logically bring harmony to your colors. This is quite a simple method, but it was inspired by the way the lighting system on the movie Klaus worked, and if you've seen it, you know that the results speak for themselves. Once you're done with this course, you will understand the logic of how light behaves and hopefully, this will give you the tools to keep studying and practicing on your own to reach a true mastery of light and color. I'm providing you with the drawing that I'll be using in the course, but I highly encourage you to use your own drawing, as this will help you understand how to apply this method to your own work. In the following lesson, we're going go take a look at my workspace and my brushes, and I'll explain to you how to set it up and how to use them. 5. Workspace and brushes: Now that you know a bit more about myself and my influences, and how I came to learn all of this, I'd like to introduce you to the workspace that I use, how I organize it to be more efficient. I'm also going to show you the tools and brushes that I use when painting. Let's get into it. Let me just quickly go over creating a new document. I'm going to make it 1200 by 1200 pixels. I think that using a small canvas really helps when you're learning to paint because it allows you not to get caught up in small details, and actually paint most of my work in small resolutions even now. Before the join, instead of pure white, I like to pick a bit of an off-color, beige color, it's just because I feel it's more neutral. Having pure white as the background can be quite distracting, but it's just personal preference. I wanted to start by showing you the keyboard shortcut that I use in Photoshop, which I've modified because the basic ones are very inefficient in my opinion. This is a setup for keyboard shortcuts that allows you to leave your hand in one spot and just not have to worry about going all over the keyboard for basic functions. Here we have the brush tool and the eraser tool, which you can switch very easily with two fingers. In the middle, we have the zoom tool, which allows you to reposition yourself. In the bottom, we have brush size, increase and decrease. You can very easily change the size of your brush while painting without having to go right-click and then changing it through here, which really takes you out of the moment in my opinion. Then in the middle, we have the smudge tool, which is very useful for blending and we'll talk a bit about that later. I use three main panels, which are the color panel in HSB sliders mode. HSB means hue, which is like the tint of the color. Saturation, which is the amount of color in your color, if that makes sense. How gray or how saturated the color will look, and then the value of the colors. How dark or light it's going to look. I think separating color into these three components really helps to understand how it works. Let's hide this. Then I use the navigator, which I'll put here in the bottom. It's just a small view of your painting and it helps to keep general view of what you're doing. Finally, the swatches. I don't use this. I don't care about all these colors here. I use it only for this top row. I'll put it here so that only this top row is visible. What this allows to do is that when you're painting, every time you change your color, you're going to keep a history of the last colors you used, which is very useful when you need to go back quickly to a color you were using previously. I want to show you the basic brushes that I made. There's a lot of brushes that you can find on the Internet. There's also crazy textures and crazy things. But I think if you want to learn to paint properly, you need to start with the most basic brushes. This is what these are supposed to be. The main one is this rectangle, which you can use for everything. If you press lightly it would be very light and if you press hard it becomes completely opaque. You can also use it for line drawing, and you can use it for blending by painting lightly like this, and then using Alt to use the eyedropper tool. You can select that color in the middle and that helps create a smooth transition. Next one is the big brush, which is useful for either very soft transitions or mostly for atmospheric effects and things like that. If I select white here, you can see I can create this feeling of fogginess. It's very useful for atmospheric effects. This is just stripes, useful for any simple textures, or if you just want to give a little bit more directions to your brush strokes is very useful to paint grass as well obviously, but it's just to have a little bit more variety in the brushstrokes. This big square now here is a color dynamics brush, which means that when you use it, it's going to create a lot of small variations of value, and tint, and saturation. This can be useful just to create a more organic look to your colors. Finally, this one is a smudge brush. You can see here on the left, when I go from a brush to a smudge brush, it changes the tool. This is also what happens when I press S on my keyboard, it switches to that tool. This is very useful for blending. As you can see, if I create a shadow here, I can then blend very easily in between those. You need to be careful not to overdo it because when you blend everywhere, your painting is going to look very undefined and confusing. But it's very useful when you really need to have those soft transitions and it's a very quick way of rendering. Next, I would just like to show you an adjustment which you can find in Image Adjustment, Hue and Saturation. This will affect the whole layer that you're working on. It allows you to change the general hue, saturation, and value of what you're working on. This is going to become quite useful later on with the method I will show you. Next, I'd like to show you how to create a clipping mask. You can see all these shapes here that I've painted are on a separate layer. If I make another layer on top of that and then hold the Alt key, in-between those two layers, you'd see a little arrow appearing. If you click that, it will clip this layer to the one underneath. What that means is that if I take any color and start painting, it will only paint within the boundaries of what's already been painted. Again, this is very useful because it allows to save a lot of time, especially for painting different lightings on character, for example, and you can keep the silhouette of that character and the shapes. You will see later how we use this for painting. You see if I unclip it, all this information is actually there, but it gets hidden when I clip it. Next, I would just like to show you two layer modes. Here, on top of the Layer panel, we have this layer mode selection menu. There's a lot of them, and it can be very confusing at the beginning. But I only want you to remember two of them, which are multiply is a layer that allows you to mix the color on the top layer with the color on the bottom layer. It's going to keep some of that color, but it's going to darken everything. So it will be very useful for us in painting shadow. You can see that we still see the color of what's underneath, but it's been tinted towards the color that we selected now. We see some orange underneath the purple. The second one is Linear Dodge. With this layer, you want to use dark colors. The blackness here should be usually in this area, it's a layer mode that's very useful to create very bright lights. You can see it's brightening, very strongly, the colors underneath, and we will use that later on to create believable lighting. Again, the two important modes are multiply and linear dodge. Those are the ones I want you to remember. Now, I would like to show you something that's a bit specific. It might seem confusing at first, the reason why we're doing this. Let's clear out all these layers. We have a layer clipped to our other shapes and I'm going to make it a multiply layer. I'm going to pick this orange color and apply it on top of this. But now, let's say I pick another color and I start applying it, but then I want to go back to the color I painted here. I can't do that because when I pick this color now, it's actually much darker than the one I had selected previously. To avoid this, if you press the eyedropper tool here and then go on top, you can choose to sample current layer only. What this does is that now, if I go on this layer, I'm going to be able to select the color that's underneath this one. Even if it's not visible anymore, I can still select it. If I go to this layer, I can select the colors I've chosen on the multiply layer, the colors that we would see if this layer was set to normal mode. What this allows us to do is painting with these colors directly and blend them without having to revert the layer mode. We see directly the end result. However, this also means that anytime you need to pick a specific color, you'll have to go back to the layer that contains that specific color. I can't select that purple here underneath, as you see, because I'm on the wrong layer, it's not showing me those colors. It's showing me the ones that are on the multiply layer. To finish, I would just like to show you how to create a very useful shortcut. If you go up here to view proof setup, custom, you can, in this menu here, pick Working Gray - Gray Gamma to 2.2. What this does is every time you press Command Y or Control Y, this is what we see here, proof colors. It will turn the image black and white, but only in display, which means the colors are still there. I can still pick the colors, but I'm only seeing everything as black and white. This is very useful to check the values of whatever you're doing. It allows you to check if the light works because colors can be distracting and you need to keep a clear vision of how the darks and lights in your painting are working together. As you can see, my workspace is pretty specific, as are my shortcuts for brushes. I think that this can really help you be much more efficient and faster so that you can just concentrate on what matters, which is painting. Now that you know how to organize your workspace, in the next lesson, we're going to start talking about the theory of light. 6. Soft light Vs Hard light: In this lesson, I'm going to introduce you to the first concept in my opinion, of light theory, which is the difference between soft light and hard light. This is a very important distinction that I think a lot of people don't know about. Let's see how it works. These are some pictures of an apple that I took under sunlight. You can see pretty clearly the light source is the sun. It's just a little point in the sky and it's making this very sharp shadows. This is because the light is coming like this. All the light rays are parallel and this is why when they encounter the surface of the apple, they are being stopped on the surface of the apple. The light rays that touched the apple can touch the floor behind it. This is why we get those very sharp shadows. This is what most people think about when we talk about light is just a simple direct light source making this sharp shadows. But what happens when the sun is not there? It's either because the sun is behind the cloud or if you're behind a building and you're in the shadow of that building. Actually, this picture was taken in the shadow of a building. This one was taken on a cloudy day. You can see the result is pretty much the same. Instead, there is no direct light. The light that is illuminating this apple and that allows us to see it comes from sunlight being diffracted through either clouds or just the sky in general. The sun is illuminating the whole sky and then the sky, if you imagine the sky is here, the sun is shining down like this, and then the sky disperses that light to be coming from everywhere at once. Now because the light is coming from everywhere at once, we can't get any sharp shadows because let's take this one for example, the light is coming from here, but also from here. Generally it comes from the top because it's coming from the sky, but it's coming from every side at once. This is why the only place where it gets dark is where the space gets very tight, like in these areas, because it's a very small confined space the light rays have a harder time reaching that space and that's why it gets darker. What's important to understand is that if you have sunlight, it's not replacing that light, it's being added on top of it. In fact here, I have a selection with the shape of sunlight if it was coming in, and if I just make the brightness higher, it mimics what sunlight would do. It's not a perfect representation, but it's just to make the point that you can see here, the skylight is still hitting the floor, but the sunlight is overpowering it everywhere else because it's a much stronger light source. That's an important thing to remember. Stronger light source always wins. The sky is a very weak light source compared to the sun. The sun is incredibly bright and this is why this will appear blue when it's only being lit by the sky, but it's going to appear a warmer color when it's being lit by the sun because the sun is a warm light and it's so much stronger than the sky color, so you will still see a little bit of blue like here, is very subtle, it's more visible in real-life because photographs are not perfect and they don't have the same light sensibility as the human eye. This is why this is a poor representation, but the sunlight is so much stronger that it overpowers the blue and you can only see the warm color. Now it's important to understand that soft light and hard light are not separate things. They're more like a spectrum. The softest light you could get would become an ambient light, such as the sky here is an ambient light. It's lighting from everywhere at once. The opposite would be a direct light, such as the sun producing hard shadows and everything. This is a spectrum. It's softer in this direction and harder in this direction. But if for example, the sunlight is going through a thin layer of clouds, but thin enough that you still get directional light, you would get something may be around here. So the shadows will be visible and quite clear, but there's still going to be a little blurry. On the other side, if you have, for example, a very big window in a room, but the sun is not directly shining through it, then the ambient light from the sky will come in through that window and produce a very soft light with very soft shadows, and it'll be around here. It's not going to be completely ambient because it'll have a direction. The light will still be coming from the direction of the window, but it'll be very soft. Let's look at some examples now. Here is an example of a perfectly overcast day. As you can see, it's very cloudy, and the light is perfectly diffused everywhere. This means that here you can see the two faces of this building are exactly the same color and value. If it wasn't for those bricks and the shape of the bricks, we wouldn't even be able to tell that there is a change of volume here. What can we say about this ambient lighting? As you can see, the light is generally coming from the top, but it's also coming basically from everywhere. This means that the only places where it gets darker are the faces that are facing downwards, like this one or this one. All these little spots where it's hard for the light to reach, these are the only spots that will really get darker, but transition will always be gradual. It's not a sharp shadow, it's always a very soft shadow. This is very tricky to paint because you have to be extremely subtle, but it's very important to understand how this type of lighting works. In this screen cap from movie, you can see that the light definitely has a direction. It's coming from here, but it's not a sharp light. It is not a hard light. We can't see any sharp shadows. You can see here there's a shadow from the nose, but it's very diffuse. It's a very soft shadow, same as here, it's the same everywhere. This is to show that this is not a completely diffused or ambient light, it's a soft light, but it still has direction. Soft doesn't mean ambient necessarily, as we saw earlier, it's a spectrum. It can get very hard or very soft. In this case it's soft but not completely ambient. Here, however, the light is completely diffused, completely ambient. There is no way to tell which side is light, which side is dark. The only way we can see that these trees have volume is because of the texture that's on them. Otherwise the light is perfectly even everywhere because it's coming from every direction at once. The only places where it doesn't reach are again, the downward facing surfaces where it's really complicated for the light to reach because it is still generally coming from the top, so there's no way for it to reach this little spot here. This again is a perfectly ambient lighting. There's no way to tell where the light is coming from because it's coming from everywhere. I think now you're starting to understand how this works. It's very important to be able to recognize the type of lighting that you're faced with or that you want to paint. This painting by Sorolla, we can see there is definitely a strong shadow here, as well as here. This is because there is sunlight coming in here, and sunlight produces very sharp shadows. It's a very hard source of light. However, this kid, it's covered from the sun by this piece of cloth, and because of that, the light that is reaching this character is the ambient light from the sky, which again comes from everywhere. This is great to demonstrate that first we light with ambient light and then on top we can add these direct light, as we see here, these shapes of direct light are the sun being added to the ambient light from the sky, which is already there. This is from Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Very good movie. You can see here as well they're in the sun, so we see this sharp shadows. This area is only being lit by the sky, which is why it appears very dark in comparison, because the sky is very weak light source compared to the sun. Here in another example, you can see very strong shadows. This one here, the light is coming from a lamp. We can see the reflection in his nose, but we'll get to that later. You can see here that the shadows are quite sharp, but they're not perfectly sharp as they would be with sunlight. Let's say this is the lamp, because it has this area around it, it's shining, a light source that is quite large. It's not as small as the sun would be comparatively. If you look at the sun in the sky, it's a very small spot, so it's projecting a very direct light. This here, it's a direct light but still a little bit softer. That's why we see this kind of blurriness here and here. This is an interesting situation because this room has very big windows everywhere on all sides, the light is almost perfectly diffused inside. We can still see a bit more shadows than if it was outside. Of course, this is a day where there is no sunlight. Otherwise we would see sharp sunlight coming in. The light is coming from here, from here, from here, and you can see here there's still some sort of shadow, but it's very diffused. This spot however, is very dark because it's really hard for any light to get into this hole. This is a painting by Bouguereau. Again, this seems to be like an overcast day, but there is still some direction to the shadow here you see. The light is still kind of coming from here. I believe this is because there seems to be a house on this side, which would be obscuring the light, so it's generally lighter from this area. This produces a very, very soft light coming from the left to the right. There's still some light coming from here, but a bit less. The character is slightly darker on this side, and as we can see here, there's some direction to this shadow. This is a painting by Sorolla, very strong sunlight, and you can see like extremely sharp edge here. The shadow shapes are very sharp and you can see there is a strong contrast as well because the shadow part is lit by the sky, but it's again very weak compared to the sunlight. This is a beautiful painting by Zorn and this is like a perfectly overcast day as well. You can see there's no way to tell which side is light, which side is dark on this character here. She's being perfectly evenly lit from everywhere. This is a painting by Pissarro, again same thing evenly lit. There's no clear dark side or light side. But this part here, under the bridge, has no way of receiving any light. That's why it's very dark, as well as those dark spots here. Now lastly, I just want to show you this is a bunch of random screenshots from movies in the last ten years. This is just to point out the fact that direct light is actually very rare in movies as well as real life because it happens when you're outside in the sun, but anytime it's not perfectly sunny, you will get some type of soft lighting, either from light bouncing on a wall or just being diffused through clouds, through windows. You can see like most of these images are actually lit very softly. This is something to keep in mind because in illustration we tend to put strong sunlight everywhere just because we want to describe things with shadows easily. But it's good to keep in mind that it actually doesn't happen that often in real life, and it's just a variation of soft lights and diffuse lights, ambient lights. Now that you know about the difference between soft light and hard light, in the next lesson, we're going to talk about exposure, reflections, and translucency and how they work. 7. Exposure, reflections and translucency: [MUSIC]. Let's talk about three very important aspects of capturing light, which are; exposure, which you might know about if you've done some photography, translucency, and reflections which are more properties of matter, and how light reflects on it. Let's see. I'd like you to imagine that this line represents how dark or how light the real-world can get. So this would be like being inside a room with no windows and turning off the light, just complete darkness or closing your eyes even, and this is like staring directly into the sun. This is the brightest thing we could experience. The problem that we face as painters is that the amount of darkness or light that we can show in a painting is basically just this small portion, meaning this is just a black canvas and this is just white. There's no way that you're painting is going to emit light the same way that the sun does. The darkest part of your painting is still never going to be as dark as complete blackness. Because of this, we have to find a solution to describe the contrast that we see in real life in our paintings. To solve this problem, we use something called exposure. What that means is that when we're painting, we can expose for lights or we can expose for shadows. When we expose for shadows, light is going to become very compressed and all the light areas will become overexposed, and when we're exposing for light, then all the dark areas will become underexposed. Here's a photo of my living room. We can see everything quite well on the inside. But if we try to look at what's happening outside the window, we can't really understand what's going on, that's because everything that's outside is so bright compared to what's on the inside, that the camera just cannot capture both things at once. We could get the information back, but what that means is that then we won't get the feeling of light. We won't get that feeling of contrast that we're getting in real life. This is why we have to make a choice as painters and it's the same with photography on whether you want to show all the information or if you'd rather depict the feeling of light, so I can lower the exposure If I want to see what's happening outside. We can see perfectly what's going on outside, but everything on the inside looks very dark. This is what you should do in your paintings, and it is a choice that you should make when you're painting anything. Here's an example from Piet Mondrian's painting of this windmill, he chose to have very low exposure. It's a painting, so he was there in real life and he was obviously seeing more information than this, but he chose to make it look that way to convey a certain feeling. This is a painting by Dmitri Belyukin, and you can see that the outside of this church, I'm guessing, it looks overexposed, and this really conveys the feeling of a very bright sunny day. We can see clearly what's happening on the inside. We can see what's happening on the walls on the left, but the information that is overexposed, the information of what's going on in the outside is reduced because the values are very compressed. Again, that doesn't mean this is what he was seeing in real life, but it conveys the feeling of what he was seeing. That's a very important thing in painting, is that we're not showing reality because we cannot show reality as it is. You can only describe it because you have such limited means compared to the full value range of reality, the full light and darkness of reality. So we have to choose what aspects we want to describe. This is a painting by Richard Smith, and this is to show that when there is not that much contrast in the scene, as this is, for example, a very cloudy day it seems, then we can show something much closer to the actual value range of real life. This is why this painting doesn't have any overexposed or underexposed areas, because the value range in real life was actually quite small. The darkest dark and the lightest light are not that far apart. This is a photo to show that if you were there in real life, you would see much more information than this. But here the camera is adjusting for the light and so the rest of the image becomes very dark. The shadows are very underexposed. They're almost black. Most smartphones have this function now, where you can adjust the exposure manually. You can test this out to yourself as you can see here. When I'm lowering the exposure, then we can see clearly what's happening outside, and when I raise it higher, then we can't see what's happening outside anymore. Now I'd like to talk about translucency, is what happens when a material is soft enough for a strong light to go through it and illuminate it from the inside. This is most noticeable when someone has a light source behind them and their ears become a shiny bright red, you might have seen this, it can also happen in cloth, liquids, or even hair. You've probably experienced this yourself, the sunlight shining through the hand, we can see a lot of this bright red, which is the light coming into the flesh and shining through it because the flesh is soft enough material, the light is able to actually penetrate it and come out the other side while picking out the color of the flesh. This is why we get this very bright red color because of the high content of blood inside skin and flesh, here is the same see-through this cat's ear. This happens for skin, but also for thin materials such as leaves from a tree. As you can see here, these bright yellows here are being backlit. The sunlight is shining through them and so we get a very, very saturated color. It also happens with cloth like this, or through hair. Reflections are a phenomenon that happens when a surface is smooth enough that you can actually see things that are bright enough reflecting onto them. Here, for example, this robot is a very smooth surface, and so is this mug. When we move around, we can see that the reflections are moving according to the position of the viewer. The actually the easiest way to spot reflection is that they change depending on where you're standing. I want to point out here that reflections not only happen in the things that you would expect and where you're used to recognizing in them such as metal, porcelain, and these materials, but also on wood, for example, if you look at this small highlight here on the top of this guy, as we move, this reflection moves slightly, but you can see it starts off underneath this line, and when we're positioned here, it's actually on the other side of that line. What we're seeing here is this lamp over there actually reflecting on top of that smooth surface. Depending on where we are standing, what we're seeing is not the surface being lit by the lamp. It's the actual lamp itself that we're seeing because it's so bright that we can see its reflection even in a surface that is not that reflective. This little plant here is also being subject to reflections. You can see that this very white glare that we can see on the surface of the plant is not light affecting the surface. It's the actual lamp itself, which is bright enough to be reflected on the surface, this happens also on skin and a lot of materials, as long as they're smooth enough. Let's look at some examples. This is a very obvious example, I guess. Anyone would recognize these are reflections because we're used to seeing these on windows and any kind of glass object. However, here on the eye, these are also reflections, and these here, this is not light hitting the nose. It is the actual light source, whichever it is in this situation that we're seeing reflected in the nose. In a way, the nose is acting as a very, very faint mirror in this situation. This happens a lot more often than you might think. This line here on the edge of the lip is a reflection of a light source. Same here. It's very important to think of these separate from light affecting the surface because they're really two different phenomenons. The colors that you see here, anywhere that's just being lit by the light, if you move around this character, this is not going to change. However, these highlights on his nose and on his eyes, as well as, of course, all of these, these are going to move depending on where you're standing. You can get used to noticing this as you move around the world, just observe where reflections happen and how often you actually see them. Just notice anytime the light seems to change as you move around the object, you're not seeing the light, you're seeing actually the reflections of that light. Same here, these are very obviously reflective materials. Here, we're seeing reflections on the car, of course. You can see all these different reflections are from traffic lights or street lights. These are also reflections. This is the reflection of some kind of street light around him. This is reflecting here very closely. This image, without the reflections, it would look completely different because all the surface of this car is actually made of reflections of the world around it. Actually, this highlight here, it's very faint and a bit hard to see, but the skin is smooth enough that this is a reflection of, I'm guessing, the sky on top, which is a light source in itself. Especially in this situation, there are high buildings on each side of this character. The sky is actually something that continues upwards and is casting these reflections here as well as this. This character here is being lit by a green light, and we can see the effect of that green light on his skin. We can also see the actual reflection of that green light on his skin, and his lips, and his nose. All of these are the reflections. So if we were to turn around this character, we wouldn't see these in the same spot. They would move around as we move around the character. This character is actually very reflective because he's wet in this situation, which makes the skin smoother and more reflective. These Lego characters, of course, are very reflective because they're made of plastic, which is a very, very smooth surface. These would change as we move around the character. Same here, there's a pink light on one side and a blue light on the other side. We can see those reflections according to the position of each light source. This character is being lit by a soft light, but we're seeing possibly through a crack in the trees, I'm guessing this is the, either the sky or maybe the moon. It's some very cold light that we're seeing reflected here. There's really a lot of them and these really contribute to reading what material we're looking at. So hair is quite reflective. You see here, we have these little reflections. Here, we have a lot of strong reflections because these characters are bathing, so they're wet. The surface of their skin actually becomes smoother and you can see the sun is being reflected in many, many areas here and in the water, of course. This is from In the Mood for Love. You can see here the reflection. It might be confusing at first, but the more you train to spot these, the easier it will be for you to recognize what is a reflection and what is just the effect of light on the surface. Here, there's actually a very faint reflection happening because the forehead is not such a reflective material, but it's still smooth, so we're seeing that reflection here as well. There's a slight reflection of that bluish light from behind him. Even here, we're seeing a reflection of this shirt which is a very bright surface. It's acting as, not a light source, but it's bright enough that we can see that influence here. This is a much more subtle example just to show you how it helps to define a character. This character is under a very soft light, but we're seeing here the shape of a reflection of a light source and here as well. Without these things, we don't get to describe the volume as precisely. These are very helpful. This is a extreme example of reflection to show you that what you're seeing is not just light sources being reflected, but anything that is bright enough. So you see here, this whole area is bright enough that we can just see it in the reflection where it gets darker, like in those trees, then we're not seeing the reflection, we're seeing the actual color of the iris behind it. Anything that is bright enough can become a reflection in another surface. Usually, the highest value in any given surface, the brightest area will be a reflection, which makes sense because it's not the effect of light you're seeing, it's the light itself being reflected, so that's why it's usually the brightest area. All right. Before moving on, let's paint a quick example using a simple ball. I'm making a new layer. This is going to be my ball. Now, let's make another layer on top of it. Clip it, select multiply. The first thing I want to do is to add the feeling of the sky as an ambient light source. I'm picking a very bright blue, and you can see it's getting very dark. That's okay. We know that this blue light is coming from everywhere here. But assuming that this ball is resting on a floor, then the light can't reach this area. Starting from my bright blue color, I'm going to remove all that blue, so removing the saturation, and I'm going to lower the value because this area needs to be darker, obviously. You can see that as I do this, because I'm removing the blue at the same time, I'm bringing back the red that's underneath, because if you remove this layer, the ball is red. We're seeing the colors get a bit warmer here where the blue light isn't hitting. You can use the Smudge tool to help with those self-transition if you want. Now, the sun would become this way, let's say. If you paint white on a multiply layer, it just basically erases it. You see if I turn it on and off now, it doesn't make a difference. Because of this, I can just use whites as a way to remove this shadow. Now as I'm doing this, the shadow part feels natural because it's being lit by these ambient light still. It's not just black. Then on top of this, I can add a layer, assuming this is a white light source like the sun, then just using white, I can make little reflection here. You can see how this little reflection instantly changes the read of this ball from a soft material to a very hard material like a very smooth surface. If we were to change this reflection to instead a very blurry one, then it starts looking like a different material, maybe a rubber. I can duplicate this one. Now, let's see what happens if we make a ball fresh color like this. We can actually just use the exact same multiply layer here that we used for this one and just do the same process. If you feel like you're not seeing enough of that color, you can remove some saturation from the ambient light and you'll see more of that natural color underneath. Now if you use white, we can remove the shadow and make the light appear. However, because this is skin, it's a translucent material. In order to show this transition, as we've seen before, as it goes through skin, light picks up the colors that are inside of it, so we're going to bring in a reddish tone. Still painting on a multiply layer, and I'm just going to softly mix in this reddish color. You can see that we start seeing more of a natural skin fill by mixing those. It takes a little bit of practice to get the right amount of color and to make it feel natural. You can see here, I'm picking at the transition and bringing up the saturation a little bit. Now, assuming that the light is hitting the floor and bouncing back into this, we can pick this color and just make it a bit brighter. You can use a soft brush for this. You see we can just bring a little bit of this bounce light here, bouncing back into shadow. Then, of course, we can add a reflection which is going to help feeling like its skin needs to be very subtle because skin is not that reflective. Maybe something like this. You can see that it helps read this material as what it is as a skin. In general with skin, it's good to have more warmth in the deep shadows. Here, you can see I'm selecting these deep shadow going to warmer color then we can break some of that in. Remember that you should keep practicing these basic exercises until you feel like you're completely comfortable with these fundamental principles because they will really help you into developing more complex paintings later on. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about preparing the drawing that we'll use for the rest of this course. 8. Preparing the drawing: Now that we're done with the theory, let's talk about the character that we're going to paint. It should be a simple character made of basic volumes that you're going to pose on a very minimalistic background. Let's check it out. The drawing I need you to prepare for this course and that you're going to paint later on, needs to be a simple character posed on top of a very simple background. The point is not to make a pretty picture or interesting composition, the point is to make something that is simple to paint over and over. This is why I don't want you to include any small details because they're just going to slow you down. The character needs to be made of simple volumes. This is very important. If you want to learn to paint properly, don't make complex shapes. Try to think of your character as very simple volumes. As you can see here, it's just spheres as highlighted in green, and cylinders of different shapes. I really need you to think of your character in those terms because it's going to help you a lot to paint the volume correctly on it later. Once you're done with the first version, I need you to paint another background. There is a very, very simple interior because it'll be interesting to see how light behaves in an interior as opposed to an exterior. If you just want to use this course to learn to paint and you don't want to draw your own characters, you can use my own drawing, which I will provide for you. I've even added a second character if you'd rather use that one. Now we have to paint the local colors of our scene. I want you to think of them as the color that the object would take if you were to simply shine a white light on it, it's basically if he has a red shirt then just paint it red. But we're not going to paint any volume information here. This is just the color of the object. The volume will come later when we paint light on top of this. This is going to be very useful to be able to paint different lightings later on. Let's pick a red, orangish color and try to find the right shade for the skin color. I'm going to put this layer underneath the line layer. Don't worry too much about this if you feel like the colors aren't exactly right, you can always come back and adjust them later on. It's important to make all the different colors quite saturated because we need as much information as possible, because when we add lighting later on it could make those colors a bit less saturated. Yeah, you need to think of saturation, like how much color information do we have? A white object is quite interesting because since light reflects all the colors, we're going to be able to see quite clearly the effects of different lighting when we look at his shirt. I'm going to make this pure white. Because it's pure white as a local color, it's always going to be the brightest object in the scene, because the brighter a color is, the more reflective it's going to be, which means it will reflect perfectly every color. You can see that I'm not worrying too much about the precise shapes. I think it's a common mistake when you're starting out to try to define everything very precisely. But painting is an optical illusion, which is giving the impression that things are there. We only need to have a vague indication of certain things and we will still feel like we're seeing them. So much easier to paint that way. Here I'm taking the skin color and I'm going to make it a bit more saturated and a little bit more towards red just to make the local color of the nose here. The difference shouldn't be too big, but it's good to have a bit of color difference. It'll help make your character feel more alive, because if this color of skin is like perfectly equal everywhere, the character tends to feel a bit like it's a statue or made of plastic or something. You can see I'm adding it here in the cheeks. You can also put some here on the elbows, the hands tends to have a bit more blood inside them so they can be more red as well. Something I like to do when I have my drawing for the face is just with the Lasso tool. I'll select the eyes and then cut it with command X and paste it in the same place with command shift F. Now when I remove the line-drawing, these are going to stay there. Their color is generally black anyways, and I can paint on top of it if I want his eyes to be like a greenish color, for example, I can paint over the iris here. This helps so that you don't have to repaint these very precise shapes a second time. If they're correct on drawing, then I'll just use that. Then let's give him hair. I'm going to go for dark brown. This is obviously not the most original character ever. Again, its purpose is not to be an interesting character, it is just here for us to learn about painting. I'm not worrying too much about making perfect shapes everywhere because this is personal preference, but I feel like it just looks more alive if you paint your character with more deliberate brushstrokes rather than being making precise selections and making everything perfect. I prefer to look of something that's a bit more organic. Now for his hat, I'm going to choose some greenish color maybe, or red. Now, finding the exact color and value of the local colors that you want to use, it might be a bit tricky at first, and you might have to adjust them once you make the lighting, but it's something that comes with practice. I think you start to feel more, instinct of what the right value would be. Maybe we can use a slightly different version of that red to have here. The pants; desaturated green might look good. You can see I'm doing all of these on just one layer. It can be tempting to separate everything into different layers, every part, every small thing, to have more control, but I think in the end it just becomes a waste of time. Repainting over things doesn't take that long, especially if the character is that simple. I really encourage you to make all your local colors of the character on one layer. You really need to think about what is local color and what is volume. Because for example, here I could go in there and paint the nostrils like this, but nostrils aren't actually a different color from the rest of the nose. They are simply darker because they're a hole. The light doesn't get in which means the nostrils will appear when we paint in the volume. Every once in a while you should remove your line layer just to check if the shapes are looking okay. You can adjust something in this view. Here we can add some variation maybe this square brush here, if you remember, is the color dynamics brush, you can use it to have a little bit of texture and different variations of color. Maybe I'm going to go a little bit more towards yellow here, some more saturation. Maybe it's a bit dirty because it's been playing outside in the mud or something. Now let's take up slightly lighter version of these pants. I'm going to use this to indicate that he rolled up his pants. This is like the colors inside of the pants. Then we're back to skin color for these little bit, maybe a reddish brown for the shoes and white socks. Let's remove the line. You can see I'm flipping the canvas. Sometimes this is an option that you can find here in image rotation and flip Canvas horizontal. I set mine to command H or control H as a shortcut. It's very useful to check if your shapes look okay, it helps your brain refresh. Maybe let's add this little button here. It's going to be metallic gold. Maybe I'll just make the bottom of his cap here a different color just to separate the shapes. This is still on a separate layer. The eyes, because I cut them from the other thing, let's just merge it down by pressing "Command E". This will merge with the underneath layer. I think this should work for the character. Maybe this shape here isn't super precise. As long as you generally follow the drawing, you should be fine for the volumes later on. If your drawing is correct, then you don't have to overthink it. Just rely on your drawing. Just making sure these two sides are aligned so it feels like the same object. Now, we can go to the background. I'm going to make a second layer. We going to call this character local colors. This will be background local colors. Let's pick green color of course for the grass. Grass can really take many different colors. You can experiment with that like just make it different shades of green. Sometimes a bit darker, a bit lighter. Because grass is an organic thing, you have to make it feel like it's random, it's not a perfect color. Of course, that depends. I mean, on a football field the grass looks perfectly even everywhere, but this is supposed to be countryside wild grass and I can use that stripy brush. I'm not really painting blades of grass, it's just to give little bit of texture and interest. These rocks behind I think I'm going to give them warm color, but we're going very low in saturation because rocks are generally gray obviously. But you can go a bit more towards brown, for example. It's the same as the grass. There's no definite color of what a rock looks like. It's always a bit different. You can have rocks that look a bit cooler, some rocks that look a bit warmer. I'm just going to bring the line layer on top so I can see what I'm doing and lower the opacity. A good way to figure out how light or dark your local colors should be is just comparing. Now that this character has his local colors, I can think like this rock do I want it to be darker than his pants. In my mind, are they darker than his pants or are they darker than his skin? I can use this shortcut that I showed you earlier to turn it into black and white and you can compare the values more easily like that. I'm making all of these rocks different colors because I want them to feel like each rock is really separate from the next one. This is made of various rocks that were found around this area. Now, pay attention to the transition here between the rocks and the grass. This transition should be a bit fuzzy. Shouldn't be super clear because grass has very soft edges. It's not a solid material, it's material made of lots of little things and we're not going to paint blades of grass individually. We're just painting a soft transition. Did you see here the value of this rock and of this grass are very similar. I'm thinking this grass should be a bit darker than the rock actually. I'm just going to make this color a bit darker. Not too much, just enough so we can see the separation. I'm constantly adjusting these colors based on how they feel relating to each other. Maybe have some bit more saturation in some areas. You could definitely also use this color dynamics brush to add some variety. We could also imagine that there's maybe some moss on top of these rocks. I remember in general seeing that moss tends to be darker than the rocks it's sitting on. I'm just going to pick the color of this and make it a bit darker and then go to the greens. I'm going to use this brush to have just a bit more texture. Bring some color variation here. Let's make sure that everything here is covered up that there's no holes otherwise the background is going to show up through this little holes and it'll look strange. To the leaves, I want to have more green color and quite dark local color. Again, I'm not really worrying about precise shapes. We just want to give the impression of those things. If they have the right color value and the right lighting, they will feel like the right thing. It doesn't mean you cannot do a more precise drawing. You can definitely do that. This is just my personal preference. I like to give more of an impression of the things. If we remove the line drawing, I can see there's definitely some holes in there. Let's differentiate this one from the next one a little bit more. It looks very flat. It looks strange, but that's okay. This is just our base, this is what we're going to use to paint all the different lighting scenarios later on. Now, let's look at the interior one. Again, I'm making a new layer. Let's lower the opacity of this line drawing a bit. I'm thinking I'd like to have a very saturated wall color, something like this maybe a bit lighter. Maybe this ceiling is gray, a bit lighter. You can see the transitions and everything are not perfect because this line drawing was made with straight lines, with a ruler like this. But when I'm painting, I'm not holding shift to make straight lines. I'm actually just painting things in like this just to again make it a bit more organic so it doesn't feel too rigid. This just helps to tie everything together. You have this line at the bottom of the wall and I'd like to make a wooden floor. So I am going towards browns between orange and red here and I'm going to go quite dark with the local color. See how that looks? I think it's not too bad. Wood is definitely one of those materials that gets a lot of variations. You can use this brush here to give this variation. Just to get some new colors go a bit more towards red, a little bit more towards yellow. As long as I'm staying around that color it's still going to feel like that color. As long as the changes you make in hue and in saturation and value are not too big, then we're going to stay within the range of that color and it's going to feel like that color. Maybe some part is saturated like this. Let's make sure there's no holes left. Let's try to give some feeling like these are the planks of wood. So we have different color shapes. Which one is a bit different from the one next to it? I'm trying to have this texture going in the direction of the wood in general. But remember, we're not painting any volume information. It's a bit weird to separate this in your mind, but these are only the differences in local color, not volume. I'm going to go back here to the character real quick because I see that his shoes are the same color as the floor. Not exactly, but they're getting lost in there so I'm just going to make them darker to make sure they stand out. Maybe this wall is a bit old, so we're thinking what's the color underneath? I'm going to make it a slightly warm gray, let's to see how that looks. Maybe the paint is peeling off in certain areas just to give a bit of visual interest. Maybe it's not paint actually, maybe it's more like a wallpaper that's being torn off. Maybe if the ceiling here has a little bit of variation as well, just some small changes to not make it feel too even. Here we have the window. I'm going to use that same wooden color here for the window. We can only see a small part of it. I'm actually going to erase that part because I want to be able to see the sky through this later on when we paint the lighting. I'm not painting any of these here. I'm not making this a darker color or anything. This is exactly the same color as this. We're only going to see that separation when we put in the volume information later on and I'm going to make a separate layer just for this table because it'll make it easier later on to paint. Let's just make this a darker wood. You have to be quite precise here to follow the perspective to make sure that it reads correctly once you remove the line. Then I'm going to make this maybe slightly blue, and this phase is going to be reflective surface like porcelain maybe, which we will see about later in the course. We will talk about reflections and indicating materials that way. I'm going to have some little patterns here. Doesn't really matter what it is. I just want to have a little bit of information. Then some green for the leaves of course and let's say yellow flowers. I'm making them a very bright color so that they stand out. I think we have enough here. Maybe I can refine this shape here a little bit just so we feel this corner more precisely because this corner really helps to showcase the perspective in this environment. I think that's it for local colors. Even if this is not the most fun part, remember that this is a very important step and it's going to be very useful for the next lesson in which we will start painting our first lighting scenario, the sunny day. 9. A Sunny Day - Part 1: When painting, it's very important that we make every decision consciously. For this reason, I'm going to show you a method to apply different light sources one-by-one to your painting. We're going to start by looking at a sunny day because I felt like this was a good place to start. We're going to analyze which light sources are influencing the scene in the character. Let's go. Let's paint. First thing, I'm going to save this as a new document. Then, I'm going to delete everything I don't need. The layers for the colors of the interior, I don't need, and I can combine those two if I need to see these. The first step would be to place the sky. Now, because I want this to feel very bright, I am going to be exposing for shadow so that the light will be overexposed. This also means that since the sky is a very bright surface, it's going to look very, very bright in this situation. You can add a bit more saturation towards the top to help show the color of the sky, but it should be really, really bright. The first thing we're going to do is to paint this character, this whole scene, actually as if it's in shadow. Imagine that there's a giant building to the right here of the screen that we don't see but it's casting a shadow on top of everything. Very important from now on, your eyedropper tool should be in current layer only here. I'm going to select "Skill boy" and create a new layer on top, clip it, turn it to multiply. Then, using this color, I'm going to paint this multiply layer with that color. This allows us to harmonize the same because these will give that blue influence to all these surfaces and make it feel like he's being lit from the sky. I'm going to do the same here, multiply, keep it, paint all of these blue. Now, this is a bit too saturated, so I'm going to lower a little bit the saturation. Then, by making this color darker or lighter, I can choose how dark shadows will be. Now, we have the right color temperature, but we don't feel the volume yet. In order to print some volume, I'm going to start from this color and make it a little bit darker. Then, we're going to go into the red oranges here. The reason for this is that because the light from the sky is blue, we want the opposite color for the shadow. This is going to help reinforce white color the skylight is. I'm picking a very desaturated orange here, which I'm making darker than the base color. You can see, now I can paint the areas where the light is not reaching. Remember that this an ambient light. This is a very, very soft light, so light is coming from everywhere here. I'm using the smudge tool to soften the brush strokes that I'm doing because everything has to be really, really soft. Here, maybe there's a small fold in the shirt which makes this surface a bit darker. But it has to be very, very subtle. The same thing here. It takes some practice at first to paint this way, but you're going to see that with these brushes, it should be easy to blend your colors easily. We don't need much, just a little bit of information about what's on top of what. We only see the mouth mostly because of its volume as well. There's a very slight difference in local color, but mostly, we need volume to show the difference here. Then we can go a bit more saturated and even darker. For the spots, they're really the darkest. You can go very slowly for this step, just take your time and try to feel how the volume appears when you start doing this. If it feels like it's too much, I can just go back to this sky color and remove it away like this. Try not to zoom into frequently. I know I have a bad habit of doing so, but the more you can stay far from your painting, the better it's going to look at the end because you just keep a general view of what's going on. We do the exact same thing for the background. Here, I'm really going just in-between the rocks, the part that should be the deepest shadows. I can see here that I forgot to fill in some holes. No problem, I can just easily go back to my layer, and since the eyedropper only works on the current layer, I can just pick those colors even though I'm not actually seeing them. The eyedropper is still catching the right color, so I can modify what's behind very easily. Now I go back to my multiply layer. You can see I'm just taking a slightly darker color for the vertical surfaces. Then, the top surfaces are going to be the lightest because they're getting the most amount of light from the sky. Sleeves here at casting very soft shadows on top of each other and on the wall as well. You really have to be careful in this step not to overdo it. Just not to place too much shadow because this slide really is reaching almost everywhere. It is only in those deep pockets here that we're getting the darkest dark. Maybe here, the bottom of the rock is facing down a little bit. Then, we get the deeper shadows closer to the floor. Going back to the character, we can have this casting a little bit of shadow here as well. Now, I'm going to add a new layer on top of this one and set it to Linear Dodge to add the sunlight. Now, I'm picking a slightly dark, warm color here, warm because this is sunlight. It's somewhere between orange and yellow. Then, I'm going to paint it in to see how it looks. Maybe a little bit brighter. Then, we can just start adding in the sunlight. The sun is behind him. We're just going to get these small areas of light. You can see here, I'm going to paint the lighting first and then remove where the shirt is casting a shadow you see. Maybe this one is receiving a bit of light as well. This hand maybe could catch the light as well. I think it doesn't really matter if it's technically mathematically correct, where the light should reach as long as it feels like it's logical. If it doesn't feel wrong, then it's okay. Here I'm softening this edge a little bit with this much. Then, I'm going to go to the background layer and do the same thing. Try to stay very simple in your brushstrokes. Try to keep your brush size fairly big and just be decisive in where you want the light to be. Of course, since it's coming from the top, we're going to have light reaching here as well. Let's try to follow the shape of the wall, to have a shadow that corresponds to this. I'm just starting my painting in the light everywhere. Then I can remove it where this character here is casting a shadow. We can use this stripe brush to help the feeling of blades of grass, which is some texture on the edges. Try not to make it the same everywhere. Try to have some variety so it feels more organic and natural. Even once this is done, I could go into my local colors here, select the magic wand tool to select all these grains. Using the hue/saturation panel, I can try to modify the color of the grass if it doesn't feel right, just to find the right local color. If we go back to the multiply layer here for the ambient light, we could add a bit more shadow. As you get closer to the wall, there's just one side from which the grass will not be catching the skylight. It just gets slightly darker around here. You can see we start to fill the volume of this wall, and maybe we can have a bit more blue here from the sky, which is just a bit more of that influence. I just picked a bluer color basically. If I go back to this guy, I can start adding the scene as well. As I was saying before, the white shirt really helps us figure out what's happening in this scene because it's reflecting almost perfectly the light around it. We can see here that it gets really blue. Now, there's something very interesting that we can do because there is such a strong sunlight that it's coming down here and it's hitting this grass, which is quite bright. This is going to create bounce light. The light is so strong that it bounces from the floor and then goes back up. If we go back to our multiply layer here and start from this base normal color from the sky, we're going to go into the warms, some kind of yellowish-orange because the sunlight is yellowish, and then it's bouncing on the grass, which is green. We stay in this area here. Let's make these really bright. You see here we have some shadow because it's facing down, but actually, this is going to become brighter instead of darker because we're getting this light bouncing from the floor. We're going to see it more on certain surfaces because, for example, the skin has warm colors, so it's reflecting it stronger. The closer we are to the floor, the stronger this effect should be, because that's where the bounce light is happening. We can make it even more saturated. But you can see on these dark pants it has little influence because it's not a very reflective material, but you can still have just a little bit of that warmth. All these different things work together to create an illusion of volume and of light. Because you have all these different colors blending next to each other and working together, it creates a sense of realism, basically. Even though this is not realistic, it's very stylized, but it has a sense of logic to it. We are going to accentuate a little bit the volumes here. I'm not putting bounce light up to the top of his head because he's very far from the ground here, so we're not getting as much of that warmth coming up. However, I can add a bit more blue to these surfaces. Let's try to give the eyes a bit more volume. Maybe this light could actually reach a bit more into this side, like this. I'm adding a bit of warmth here around the light. I think I put too much volume into his eyes. It feels like he's very tired. The eyes are very reflective, so we can even make this blue color even brighter. I think this could be a bit more warm. When you're painting skin, it's really important to have warmth in the shadows, otherwise, the character starts to feel a bit dead. In general, when I'm painting skin, the darker I go the higher I put the saturation. Light travels through the skin. We'll talk more about translucency later on. I think this hand could get a little bit more volume. This shadow here was not saturated enough. It looked better with a bit of a warmer, redder tone. I think we need to add this mountain here, otherwise, there's nothing on the horizon and it looks a bit confusing. So I'm going to select my sky and I'm just lowering the value, not too much, and making this a bit more saturated, just to signify that there's something there. I don't want them to be too sharp, so I'm softening the edges a little bit. Maybe we need that light coming here, just because we want to describe this shape a bit better. I'll be raising it where the form is going down. This comes forward, so I think the light would still reach it even though there is a big thing on top of it. If we select a light layer, then we can still kind of control the intensity of that light. I can make it even brighter or a bit lower. This is just depending on how strong the sunlight is. If it's going behind a cloud, maybe it's just slightly less powerful. Let's add a little bit of that bounce light to this little button, and then around it some shadow, just so we feel like it's volumetric. I think we're missing some folds on the pants following this, here as well so we can fill the pocket that he's putting his hand into. 10. A Sunny Day - Part 2: But now, what if we want to have the light coming from the front? I mean, surely, we're not going to just do this because then, everything is overblown and it doesn't make any sense. The way we're going to do this, let me just save this as a new file. Let's delete the sunlight in both. Now, what we're going to do is take this ambient light layer, the multiply layer. I'm going to remove all the traces of bounce light and warmth. I'm just going to go back to the normal shadow situation, no light. I'm going to press Command U for hue saturation and just darken everything. Now, what we're doing here is changing the exposure. If the shadows are these dark, probably, this guy is going to be much darker as well, something like this. It's still a sunny day, but this time, we're actually exposing for light. We're seeing much more information in the bright areas. Then let's bring some of that blue here. I'm still painting in the shadow here, but the big difference this time is that instead of creating a new layer for the light, we're going to use the same multiply layer. Let's just get this to the same level, something like this. Now, let's pick a very bright yellow with almost no saturation inside. Now, I can just remove the shadow, basically. If you take absolute whites on a multiply layer, it just removes that layer. See if I turn it on and off. By taking this bright yellow, we're effectively removing the shadow by adding in the light. This is what happens when we're exposing for lights, so the shadows are actually becoming very strong, very dark compared to the light. Because this transition is so strong between here and here, we're going to need a transition color. To do this, I'm going to get warm color because I'm painting skin, and try to just have the in-between in terms of value from those two areas. This will help us have a nice transition between light and shadow. You can see here, it's not a deep shadow, so I'm just using that transition color as the shadow. Here, it's probably heating that ear like this. You can see that the blue influence in general really doesn't affect red much because red is quite far from blue in the color wheel. Here basically, almost everything is in light. This lighting scenario is a bit trickier to paint because the light and the shadow basically are on the same layers so you need to be more careful with the way you paint. In general, I think you should learn to paint everything on one layer anyway, learn to control the color and control your brush strokes to make things look right. Here, we would probably get shadow from this hand. You can see that there's much more saturation in the shadows as well because they are darker. Of course, we're doing the same thing on the background here. Though surfaces, of course, are completely in light. The grass, of course, is completely in light as well, maybe some tiny shadows under the rocks. We're only seeing hard shadows everywhere. Hard shadows because this is a very hard light coming from the sun. Don't forget, you can use the history here to go back to your previous color. I'm switching between the light color and the shadow color. Then we can have bit of bounce light for the down facing surfaces. Let's not forget to remove the light where shadow is cast. This guy here is definitely casting a shadow, maybe even onto the wall. Of course, it's at our little mountains. Just take this color, lower it a bit in value, it more saturated, and we get a nice background mountain color. This color is obviously very close to the sky color because we're seeing basically, the sky that's in between us and the mountains. This is what's called atmospheric perspective. I think that'll do for now. As you can see, depending on where the light was hitting, we've had to adjust the exposure to show the maximum amount of information to the viewer. On the next lesson, we'll be working with a diffused light on a cloudy day. 11. A Cloudy Day: In this lesson, we're going to talk about painting a cloudy day. Now it doesn't look like much, but this is one of the hardest situations to paint because there is no direct light, which means no hard shadows to describe the volume. Let's see how it works. I want to paint a cloudy day with completely overcast lighting. All I need to do starting from this version, let me save this as cloudy, I just have to delete the layer with direct light. Then I'm going go here, and remove all traces of the bounce light so all the warmth, I'm just going to erase that and go back to normal sky color. Maybe we can add just a bit more shadows in general, because the level of light in this scene is going to be lower, we just replace this background with a really gray tone. We remove all traces of warm bounce light here, so we have just the light from the sky, and then we're just going to desaturate a little bit because we're not really getting so much of a blue light from the top, it's more of just generally white light. It's still going to be cold which means the shadows would still be warm, but it's definitely not as blue as it is when we have a sunny day with a blue sky. Then here, let's do the same, just remove some of that saturation. I just need to paint few dark clouds here. This much very useful to create some clouds, some self transitions. If we really want to push this feeling, maybe we could add a layer on top and going with big airbrush like this, and just put a little bit of fog so it feels like it's really a very foggy day. Here, I'm just adding stronger shadows. Still very soft of course, but just to emphasize that feeling of there's not that much light in the scene. That's what you should think about, what's the amount of light in the scene. Here, it's quite low obviously because there's no sunlight, there's no direct light source, so the shadows in general are going to get much darker. That's it. Just like that, you can get the cloudy day. Just to give a bit of impression of perspective, I'm hiding these shapes here. Let's not forget about our mountains. Actually here I think if I open up the levels, Image, Adjustment, Levels, I could make the shadow a bit stronger. Of course, we're going to need just a very soft shadow under him, because he is still preventing the light from getting here. You can see, it's a very, very soft shadow. Anything stronger will look like it's a direct light coming in. That's it for cloudy day. Painting a diffused lighting like this can be quite overwhelming at first, because it goes against all the preconceptions we have about light. There is no defined shadow side or light side, and we have to rely on very small amounts of darkness to describe the form. Remember to practice this a lot. Every time you're out on a cloudy day, observe the world around you, try to figure out how it works for yourself, and that will help you tremendously when painting this kind of lighting. In the next lesson, we're going to paint our character at night, illuminated by a lantern and moonlight. 12. A Starry Night: In this lesson, we're going to paint the scene under a night sky illuminated by moonlight and a lantern. It's important to notice here that the process is actually the same. We're only changing the value of lights. It's going to be much darker in general, but the process is the same as a sunny day. Let's see how it works. First thing, let's make the sky very dark blue. Maybe something like this. I'm going to just slight gradient so that it looks better. We can add a few stars. Now, the first thing to do is to bring everyone to the right ambient light. This is a cheat because in real life, at night, pretty much you don't see anything. It's really dark. But in illustration, we can stylized what happens at night. It's a common trope in cinema, which is put blue light at night because we want to see what's going on. In this case, we're going to add a blue multiple layers here with the color of the background and same thing here. We can just copy it and stick it here. I did this little lantern here because we can add a warm light later on from this. But first, let's paint the volume here. Because I want my shadows to be warmer, I'm going to go darker and then remove saturation. Because if we have less blue, then we're less cold. It's going to turn warm. This is exactly the same process as we did during daylight, we're just doing it with darker colors this time. But the principles are exactly the same. Then under the nose, here. Same thing with the background, of course. I'm doing this very quickly because you understand how it works now. Maybe you can get just a bit lighter on top surfaces. The shadow here for the cat too. To add these, because it's not a very strong light source, I can stay on the same layer and just go to orange. Let's try like this, it's a bit too strong. This looks all right. You can see how strongly the red is reacting to this warm light source because there's a lot of red in the color of the lights. Then we do the same here. Finally, maybe we'll add a strong light from the moon. Again, this is stylization because in real life, the moon really doesn't cast that much light. But here, why not? I'd pick dark blue color with my Linear Dodge layer for strong light. Let's see how this looks. Maybe a bit brighter. This should look nice. Let's just add a rim light to outline the character a little bit better. Let's say it doesn't go as far as the floor. You can just use it as a way to highlight the character a bit better. Then we can do the same here in the background. I'm not going to add it on top of this because there's already a light source here that's affecting this quite strongly. I think that in this case, the lantern is overpowering the blue light from the moon. I think that's it for our night scene. You can have just a bit more volume here and there. I think that works. Remember that in painting, we're not showing reality as it is. We are only describing it. This is why we can exaggerate certain aspects of it when we want to emphasize a certain feeling, for example. In this case, we're only trying to show a night scene. As long as the scene is dark and bluish, it's feel like night. This leaves us with a lot of room to play around and explore different lighting ideas. As long as we stay within that range, it's going to work. In the next lesson, we're going to look at what happens when painting a room under artificial colored lights. 13. A Room Under Colored Light: In this lesson, we're painting an interior scene with no light coming from the outside. It means that we won't see any influence from the sun or the sky. Our scene will only be lit by different artificial light sources placed inside the room. Let's see how that affects the illustration. Let's say that this window here is shut and I'd like to see what happens if we are using completely artificial light. I'm going to remove this lamp here, and instead, let's have one of those lava lamps because I think they're pretty fun. Anyways, the lamp is not the subject of this lesson, but let's imagine that there is, for example, a green light somewhere off screen that's illuminating this whole scene, just bouncing around the room everywhere and illuminating everything with a green tint. The way to do this would be multiple layer, of course, I'm going to make one for each layer. Let's take green color, maybe this. I don't want it to be too saturated like this. I'm going to erase it here because obviously this is a light source as well, so it's not receiving lights. That doesn't make sense because its own light sources already stronger and be a bit more saturated. Then we're getting darker here, maybe a bit warmer. I'm assuming this light source that's making everything green would be maybe somewhere towards where we are. It's going straight at this character, so the direction of the light would be like, what's going away from us, is getting darker. It also means that he would have a very soft shadow behind him. I'm using the airbrush now do this. Maybe this would be a bit darker, actually, just because the light source is going generally forward. You really need to be careful when blending with the smudge tool because it can easily get too soft and then it becomes unreadable like we don't understand what the volumes are anymore. Let's not forget the shadow from this table as well, things are going to get quite darker under it, but maybe here we're still getting the full light. We're assuming this is a quite large light source that's making this, maybe a screen like a giant TV showing a green image could cast this kind of light. Let's try to figure out what happens here. Once we have this general green ambient lighting, we're now going to add this light source. I'm literally just taking the color from my light source here, and seeing how it looks. It looks probably too powerful, so I'm going to make it a bit darker and less saturated. Let's see how that looks, I think that looks okay. This is a small light source which she is probably going to fall off pretty quickly. Here, it would be a bit less strong and here would be much weaker already. Once again, you see that the red hat is reacting quite strongly because it's similar color to the light source. Maybe the nose is catching a bit with that color as well. You can see that I'm erasing the shadow at the same time as I'm painting in the light because it's not in shadow anymore, it's receiving another light source which is a different color but this is a weird lighting situation just to show you that the logic applies whatever the situation is. I think the table could catch a bit of that light as well, I'm not sure how much we can see. Maybe the eye even could get a bit of this color. Let's have a very faint light here on this arm, because it's quite far from the light source. You just need to fix may be some things in the ambient light. That's under the nostrils, I forget every time, it really helps to define the shape of his nose. Here, I'm just making sure that we have the shape of this cheek. Everything that's not directly facing this light source needs to get just a little bit darker. I think you see how simple it is really to color any kind of situation as long as you respect the logic and the hierarchy of light, that the strongest light source always wins, so in this case, this is the strongest light source. So everywhere that it affects this character, it is overpowering the green light. Just going to add a bit more of shadow here because this is like a low-light environment since the only light sources are these green light and this red light, shadows can get really, really dark, almost black because we don't really have enough light bouncing around the scene to illuminate the shadows completely. I'm going to strengthen a bit this shadow so that his hand stands out a bit more because it's disappearing here. It has a very similar value to the background. I think that'll do it for this lighting scenario. As you can see, I purposely exaggerated this idea of colored lights in this scene because I wanted to show you that this method really can work with any type of light, even if it's completely green, or completely red light, the principles stay the same and as long as you follow the logic, you should be fine. In the next lesson, we're going to paint the same room, but this time with the sunshine coming in through the window and bouncing around the room. 14. A Sunny Room: In this lesson, let's brighten things up and paint this room under a nice sunny atmosphere. We're going to be exposing for shadow to really emphasize how bright and vivid the light is. Let's see how that works. The first thing to do, of course as usual we're making the multiplayer layer for each element of the scene and we're going to use a warm color. That is because the light that's going to come in through the window is going to bounce around the room and create this warm atmosphere. So I'm using a very warm color here. On the right side of this character, he's going to get the influence from that window, which is the sky color. I'm just looking for the right color that feels the most natural. I think this one is not really bright enough. It should feel brighter than the other side. I think we need to add the light source right away to stronger light. We're going to need it to figure out how the light is bouncing around the room. I'm creating a Linear Dodge layer, just as we did in the sunlight outside. See how it looks. This should be okay. Let's say that the light is going this way. Here I'm erasing it because of the volume. We're getting just a little touch here, and then all of this, of course here we are leaving this for the arm that's casting a shadow and all of this is in light. Just removing it on the side where it's away from the light. Let me just add folds here. Because we have this very strong light here in a quite dark environment, we're going to see a very strong bounce light from it. The light is bouncing on the T-shirt and coming back into the chin here of the character. Now I'm back on the multiply layer here. The bottom of the nose and even here in the brow area because this is a surface that faces downward, we're going to see that same influence. Now, this area close to the cap of course gets much darker because there's not really any lights or bounce light that can really reach that area. We can even take a big soft brush here and darken all of this because that's the area that is further away from any light. Now, in the background, of course we're seeing some of that light from the window as well. It's coming in through the window and illuminating this wall here. Very soft brush because this is a very diffuse light. Even though it's coming from the right, it is very diffused so you need to paint it that way. This wall here on the right, because that is where the light is coming from it cannot be illuminated by that same light, so we're going to make it just a bit darker than the rest. Consider it helps construct the volume of this room. Probably here in the corner this is where you'll get even less light. Now of course this bright light here has to hit the wall behind as well so I'm going to make Linear Dodge layer here, and let's say it comes in like this. You don't have to be really exact with the shape of the light. It can be quite unpredictable how light is going to come through a window. As long as it doesn't look completely out of place, I think you can get away with not being very accurate. Of course, we're going to remove where he's casting a shadow. Now a very important thing is that this strong light here on the floor is going to bounce around same way that it bounces around on the character, so I'm taking this bounce light color. Using the Lasso Tool, you can make a selection to make sure that you stay on the surface you need. Now, I'm just going to brighten this area to really show that the light is bouncing on the floor. Maybe here on this, we could show a bit of that bounce light as well. It's very subtle. As we move away from the light it's going to get darker. This face is quite reflective so it's going to get that sky color as well. These roses here the same. This still needs reflections to look proper, but we're going to see that later. Just really try to always think how much light is that particular surface receiving. That's really all you need to know is how much light is reaching that space through direct light, or bounce light, or diffuse light. This looks a bit dirty. If I make it more saturated, it's going to look more natural. Let's look at this from the front. I think this area looks bit weird. Let's try to blend it a bit better, and of course we need to have his mouth shape. The cheek just above the mouth is going to be facing downwards just a little bit. We're seeing some of that. We need to be very subtle when painting faces but if you respect the hierarchy of light, then it should always work as long as you know which surface you're painting, which way it's facing, and how much light it's receiving, then you should always be able to figure out how it's going to look. I think we could darken this area because it's further, actually maybe just this wall because the ceiling is still facing down towards where that light is hitting, so it's going to receive a little bit more bounce than the top of the wall, for example. Let's not forget that these character is still blocking the light from reaching here, so I'm going to paint a diffused shadow behind him. These diffused shadow they really help sell the idea that the character is present in this room, that he's influencing the area around him. The same thing for this table here. You see there's a direction but it's still very soft shadows. It can be a bit tricky to paint with the air brush like this. I'm getting used to but it's very useful for this soft shadows. I really like this type of lighting. It's very satisfying. I think we could actually make this even brighter. Some bounce here. You see here he's getting more bounced light from the left than from the bottom because the light is hitting on his shirt here and bouncing back into the arm. Let's try to really follow the volume of his belly here. I'm not sure what this shadow should look like actually. Maybe go back up here, something like this. Here I'm putting back this warmth here in the ear where it's not facing towards the window. Even this shadow here needs to be a bit more prominent. This shadow needs to be here as well. I think that here maybe we need bigger shadow. This whole area is facing downwards so it's receiving less light. Just by erasing the light, you scope the shape and try to make it more volumetric. This is starting to look okay. Remember when painting these lighting situation that adding these hard light is easy, but what's going to sell the realism of this situation is how you paint the light bouncing around the room. Bear in mind that the bounce light is always strongest on the surfaces adjacent to the one that is being hit by the sun. In the next lesson, we're going to go back to the first sunny scene and add a few details to really push the realism and believability of that scene. 15. Wrapping up the sunny scene: Up until now, we've seen how to establish a lighting situation by defining our different light sources. But we're still missing something for the picture to be complete. So we're going back to the sunny scene from the beginning, and we're going to add the effect of light reflecting off of surfaces as well as light going through surfaces to help describe the different materials in our scene. Let's see how that works. We're back in the sunny scene, and let's see how we can add reflections and indications of translucency to make this seem just a little bit more believable. Translucency happens when, as you know, a strong light source is going through a translucent material such as skin or cloth. In skin, what is illuminated by translucency is from what I understand, the blood inside of the body. See I'm using a reddish color, the brightest that I can make it. Just using an airbrush here on the multiply layer. If I go around the places where the light is hitting, I can bring just a little bit of red around. That really makes you feel like this is skin. Here inside the ear actually we can even make this completely red. The ear is a very very thin skin, which is why we can see a light shining through it. Here around is light on the arm. We can make this brighter. Here, especially on the fingers, we're going to see very strong translucency. Maybe I'll even darken this just a bit so that we can see the translucency better. Then we can use this red to make it pop. You start to feel really the material of the skin and the arm. Just fixing this here because I think it's not really dark enough. Even here, very subtle. Here we can have just a little bit of that translucency again, except this time it's not a color. The sun is shining through the t-shirt and then onto the skin underneath. Reflections happen on very hard and very smooth surfaces so let's make a layer on top of everything. I'm going to change my Eyedropper type to "All layers" this time because we're just going to be painting on top of everything. Let's take the color of the sky here and make it a little bit more towards here. Let's try to think about which areas would be reflective. Maybe the tip of the nose, for example, could be slightly reflective. I'm pressing very lightly to make these reflections subtle. Even here on the skin could be slightly reflective, but very, very slightly. You have to be extremely subtle, otherwise it starts feeling like the character is made of weird material like metal or plastic. Actually here, we're going to see reflections from the sun, so this time they're going to be warm like this and pretty much white. Here, for example, you would get something like this and then you can erase it until it starts to feel like the right amount. It's quite tricky to get it to feel right, but it's really important if you want your materials to read clearly. Obviously, we could get reflection of the sun here in his eye. I don't even really think that this sun would reflect in his eye here, but it just helps to have some highlights in the eyes to make the character feel more alive. Here we can have some highlights of the color of the sky. Let's try not to overdo it because it gets quickly out of hand. Maybe here on the edge of his face, we're seeing a reflection of the sky. On his ear as well. You see how it starts to just describe this material better. Let's take a darker blue here for this material. Of course this is a reflective material and actually would even get darker or just the bottom probably. Maybe this grass is actually reflecting into it, so there's some green as well. You can go really crazy with metals because they're very complicated, they have a lot of reflections from everywhere. The leaves here as well could be getting some reflections from the sky. Again, let's make it a bit darker because they're darker material, maybe something like this. To make highlights on objects helps to, first, paint the shape, and then erase out of it. It tends to give more believable shape to your reflections. Under his eyes, I'm going to erase a little bit because it starts to look weird. I think we just moved here a bit of an indication of the volume. Maybe some clouds. If you just take the color of the sky and desaturate it, you can get a pretty good color for your clouds. Shouldn't use pure white too often, but since we're exposing for shadows here, everything's super bright, so it looks okay. You can see it's not much, but the reflections really add a little bit more credibility, I guess, to your materials. You can only really get better at this through observing different materials and how they react. I don't know, maybe this could get a slight reflection on the edge. That's it for this one. In this final step, now that you've established a solid base for the light to be believable in your painting, you can keep detailing as much as you want because you know that the structure is solid. In the next lesson, we're going to go back to the room under colored lights and we're going to see how reflections affect that situation. 16. Wrapping up the artificial light scene: In this lesson, we're going to go back to the indoor scene with colored lights and see how to paint the reflections on the character and the environment according to the position and color of the two light sources. Let's look at that. Let's see what we can do to make this one a bit more believable. Again, I'm making a layer on top of everything, and my eyedropper is in all layers, so that I can just paint on top of everything now. We can use this white shirt to see what color the light is. Let's take that and make it brighter, a bit more saturated. I was saying this is a large TV casting; that very soft green light, so we can try to show that TV as a reflection here. His cheeks are slightly reflecting, the nose as well. But we really have to be careful not to make it too obvious, otherwise they will start misreading as other materials. I'm just noticing that this should be getting a bit more light. Maybe the fingers very slightly, this one of course. This is definitely the hardest part of this whole process because you really have to be very subtle. Of course, we mean reflections coming from here. So maybe decided that here or this here. Actually this part here is often quite reflective because it's close to the skull, and of course the hair is going to have some reflections because hair is actually very smooth. But there are particularities that each strand of hair is actually reflecting the light differently, which is why you get a lot of texture in the reflection as well. That really helps to sell the idea that this is a shining light because we see it. Our brain recognizes the reflection as this means there is a light source. Maybe this side of the eye is getting a small red reflection here, and this side of the nose here. Here you see with and without how much difference it makes even though it's almost nothing. His cheeks are really hard to get right, because I know that cheeks can be reflective but it's really hard not to overdo it. Here as well it can be a bit reflective. I would say the edge of his cap here could be reflecting also, it's just a bit of this. You can also use these steps just to fix any mistake. Note that all the elements are there so you can just pick colors and painting. Oh, I forgot. This is probably metallic and it's going to be reflecting that green light source. It tried to follow the shape here. Again, it helps to sell the idea that there is a green light source here, since we're seeing it through this reflection. I think that's it for this one. Now, let's take a look at all the finished images. This is where we were at the end of the base colors and lighting, and these are the details I added on top. So we have some reflections, we have some blades of grass. On this step, you can just add in whatever you want because this structure is solid, so you know you're safe. Here, I'm just adding some small details, some reflections, blades of grass to make it feel more lively. You can see here the reflections around his face. These are quite important to help the skin feel like skin, and of course adding just some random blades of grass and all of that just to make it look less systematic and more organic. You can see even the hat has a little bit of reflectiveness to it on the edges. Here at night, I'm just adding some reflection in the eyes, and then we can add a glow. This is a Linear Dodge layer. If I turn it to normal, you can see it's actually pretty dark color. Linear Dodge is great for these glow effects. Here we have some reflections. You can see this green light source is reflecting here into this metal material. It's also reflecting on this table here, because wood can be a bit reflective. Here we have the green reflection on the eyes, and then on the side of his face the red reflection from this lamp and just little tweaks here and there. Here, reflections of the window. Sky here on his face, and just some little details here and there to fill the volume of those tears in the wall. So that's it. We have completed all of our images. I hope you enjoyed that process and that it helped you understand how lighting works. Stick around for the final project video where we're going to review everything we've done so far. 17. Concluding remarks: Okay, guys, this brings us to the end of the course. I hope I gave you everything you need to know in order to understand the basic principles of light. It's important that you internalize how light behaves so that you can determine easily where light comes from and which are the light sources in your work. Before I say goodbye, I just want you to go over the steps you need to take in order to create your own illustrations in different lighting situations. To begin, I want you to practice with basic shapes, the key concepts of reflections, exposure, and translucency. That way, you'll discover by yourself what makes your paintings look real. Start your process by making a drawing of a simple character over different minimalistic backgrounds. Don't include small details or complex shapes as they will only slow you down during this exercise. Once you have your drawing ready, paint in your local colors, making sure there aren't too bright or too dark. This is the base on top of which all the different lighting situations will be painted. With the local colors ready, you can move on to your scenes. You need to add a multiply layer to paint in the ambient or defused light and in some cases, if you have a strong light, you will add a linear dodge layer. Note that in most situations, your scene will be lit mostly by an ambient or diffused light. Depending on the situation, you can add a direct light on top. Remember that precise rendering of soft lights is what will make your scene come together. You have to be very subtle with it. Finally, you must use the concepts of reflections and translucency to add more detail and credibility to your illustration. Pay close attention to where your light sources are located when painting reflections to make sure to position them accurately. At the end of the course, you'll have a set of illustrations with different lighting situations and the tools to continue working with light in a believable way without having to rely on references. I can't wait to see what you create. Don't forget to share the step-by-step process of your final project in the forum. I'll be there if you have any questions about the process. Thank you for joining me.