Painting Light and Shadow: The Basics for Portraits and Characters | Gabrielle Brickey | Skillshare

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Painting Light and Shadow: The Basics for Portraits and Characters

teacher avatar Gabrielle Brickey, Portrait Artist -

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Terms and Ideas


    • 3.

      Planes of the Head


    • 4.

      Skin Tones


    • 5.

      Light Sources


    • 6.

      Lighting Angles


    • 7.

      Blending Techniques


    • 8.

      The Smaller Forms of the Face


    • 9.

      More Lighting Effects


    • 10.

      Using References


    • 11.

      Class Project


    • 12.

      Lighting a Character Demo


    • 13.

      Stylized Portrait Demos


    • 14.

      Realistic Portrait Demos


    • 15.

      Closing Thoughts


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About This Class

In this class, you'll learn how to paint portraits with light! We'll cover all sorts of lighting situations so you'll be armed with the skills to confidently render a face in tons of different lighting scenarios.

You'll discover how through observation and practice, you can train your eyes and brain to see and understand light better. Through easy to follow videos, practice exercises, and class demonstrations, you'll discover how you can render light on your subjects.

If you're an artist and lighting your characters has been a confusing struggle, then this is the class for you. You'll learn the basics of lighting that can lead you toward great picture making!

If you'd like to learn how to draw portraits and characters first, these two courses will help get you started! Then jump into class and start painting with light!

Start Drawing: Techniques for Pencil Portraits

Design a Female Character: Sketching Portraits with Pencils

Meet Your Teacher

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Gabrielle Brickey

Portrait Artist -

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Hey there! I'm Gabrielle Brickey.

And I'm so glad you're here!

I teach artists like YOU how to draw and paint portraits and characters you can be proud of. I'm so excited to help you improve your art skills, gain confidence, and create the art you've always dreamed of!

Jump into class. Let's get started. :))

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Today in class, we'll be exploring lighting for potrait paintings in character illustrations. Light is a huge topic, but in this class we'll be breaking it down into manageable parts that we can enhance our knowledge and make better art pieces. You'll learn how to spot the patterns, shapes, and tendencies of light so that you can make better artistic decisions in your drawings and paintings. We'll talk about different skin tones, the different types of light sources, and how they affect the colors on our subjects. We'll look at tons of examples, from lighting in the sunlight, overcast light, window light, and electric light. We'll also go over common lighting angles that work beautifully for portraits and character illustrations. I'll be showing you how I blend and get soft edges with some of my favorite mediums; including markers, digital painting tools, oil paints, and soft chalk pastels. We'll also talk about some really eye-catching lighting effects that you can use in your pieces. We'll explore dappled light, subsurface scattering, how to get that glow in your pieces, and much more. You'll be able to watch as I demo techniques for lighting characters in four different lighting scenarios. I'll also be sharing my thought process and methods for painting stylized portraits and more realistic portraits. From class, you'll walk away with tons of reference materials and resources that will help you solidify your understanding of writing. I'm so excited to share this class with you all. I hope you'll join me. So, get out your favorite medium and jump into class. 2. Terms and Ideas: This class will be about spotting patterns. Light is predictable when it's one light source on the face. You'll see shaped patterns repeat themselves from one face to the next. So, in this class, I'm going to stick to what I know. Rather than having you sit through a class where we talk about the science of light, I'm going to just stick with my artistic perspective. This will be a very observational lighting class. So I'll leave the science aspect of light to teachers who can explain it much better than I could. If you're a beginner, I want you to know kind of the language I'm speaking here. So let's go over some things I'll be talking about in class so you'll know what I'm referring to. You'll hear me talk about the planes of the head a lot in this class. It's basically an artistic conceptualization of the head that helps simplify the forms of the face, making it easier to paint. Instead of looking at the head and trying to figure it all out, you can break it down first into simple claims. This can help you capture the lighting effect on the head. We'll go much more into this in the next video. When I talk about color temperatures in this class, I'm talking about how warm or how cool a color is. Warmer colors, when related to all other colors, are the reds, oranges, yellows, and warm greens. Cooler colors tend to be the cool greens, blues, and purples. It's important to remember that a color can go both warm or cool. Like here, we have a cooler yellow and here we have a warmer yellow. Color is relative. This yellow is closer to a green and this one is closer to an orange. On the face, there's lots of temperature shifts that happen. If lighting is very warm, the shadows will tend to go cool. If lighting is cool, the shadows will often have a warmth in comparison. Now, let's talk about local color. Local color is the natural color of a thing as it appears in neutral light, unaffected by the color of a light source. This lemon's local color is yellow. But when we turn on different light sources, the color changes. When the lemon gets put under a blue light, you can see that color change that happens. It's no longer that local color yellow that we typically think of when we see a lemon. When we put it under a warm light source, you can see how it changes again. Now, value is the relative lightness or darkness of an object. Values are super important when it comes to lighting. Accurate value changes will give your portrait that 3D look, making what's 2D on the paper seem real. We'll also talk about contrast values. Here we have an image with a high contrast values. This image explores the full range of lights and darks. While here we have a more subtle low contrast of values, the image is pretty locked in to only one particular range of grays. It's good to be in control of whether you want your value shifts to be high contrast or low contrast. Now, let's talk about the difference between direct and diffuse light sources. Some examples of direct light sources are the sun, a spotlight, or a light bulb with no lampshade. Direct light sources tend to result in a clear distinction between light and shadow. There is nothing between the light source and the subject to diffuse or soften the light. So, light and shadow shapes are easier to spot. The edge quality between light and shade in a direct lighting scenario is hard. The contrast values is higher than a diffuse lighting scenario. Diffused light sources are light sources that have some sort of softening agent in front of them, resulting in an overall softer scenario than our previous direct lighting examples. A great example of a diffuse lighting scenario is outside on an overcast day. The sun is still there, but it's now diffused by a blanket of clouds. Now the light is coming from all different directions all at once, which results in that softening effect and less contrast to the values. Often, photographers will use soft boxes or umbrellas so they can have the option for the softer or diffused lighting in their studios. Some types of portraits will be most flattering with the soft lighting. In a diffuse lighting situation, it's more difficult to tell the difference between what falls into the light and what falls into the shadow. You can squint down at your reference to help with this. But if you're a beginner, you may find it easier to practice drawing portraits in direct lighting scenarios while you're first learning because the shapes of light and shade are much easier to spot. You'll likely have a more enjoyable experience drawing a direct lighting scenario because you'll be able to see the value shapes more easily. So you'll get to that satisfying 3D effect more quickly. You'll hear photographers talk about their key light. They're referring to the main light source they're using. The key light or main light is what shapes the forms of the face. In addition to the key light source, photographers will use a fill light source. This type of light is used as a secondary light source, subordinate to the main key light. Fill lights are typically used to bounce soft lighting back into the shadows. The fill light can be a big diffuse light source or it can even be a big piece of white board. Take a look at this white board. See how the main light is hitting the board and then that light is bouncing back up into the shadows. When objects bounce their color and light back into the subject, this is what we refer to in the painting world as reflected light. See how these colored papers can bounce back beautiful colors too. Every object that receives light becomes another light source. Not as strong as the first, but strong enough to push its color and light onto surrounding areas and the shadows. You'll often see colorful shirts reflect light and color back up into the bottom of the face. It's good to understand the basics of light and shade on a ball. This will help when you're trying to render other round things like the head or the ball of the nose. In this direct lighting scenario, we'll get a predictable series of tones. If we draw all these tones in proper relationship to one another, we can achieve that 3D realness in our drawings. So there is light and shadow. These shapes are the first essential things we need to train ourselves to see. When you squint your eyes down, you can see these shapes more easily. Now let's investigate this light side. There are a few tones to know in the light. The highlight will be the lightest point. It's a reflection of the light source itself. Highlights aren't always pure white though. So, when you go to paint them, you can try experimenting with other light colors too. Now, if you can, imagine this ball as having faceted planes. The plane most facing the light is called the center light. As the plane start to move further and further around and away from the light source, they're getting only partially hit by light. So the values gradually move darker and darker. These are called the halftones. Now, the edge you see as the form transitions from light to shadow is called the terminator. It's a pretty quick transition in this direct light scenario. Now, let's investigate this darker side. Shadows break down into two main parts: the form shadow and the cast shadow. Form shadows are those on the form itself as the planes face away from the light source. In the form shadow, you'll sometimes find what's called the core shadow. This is the darkest part of the form shadow. You'll also find reflected light in the form shadow. This happens because the light source is also hitting the table and basically turning it into a secondary light source. See how this pink paper pops light and color back into the bowl. Now, cast shadows occur when one form blocks light from hitting another form. In this case, the ball is blocking this part of the table from receiving direct light from the source. You'll notice though that a bit of reflected light bouncing around the room can bounce into the cast shadow. So, as you can see, it's a little lighter in value here than it is here. This space where the ball meets the table is small. So it's hard for any amount of light to get in there. This darkness here is referred to as the occlusion shadow. Occlusion shadows, I found, do well when painted a warm brown orange on a portrait. The shapes of light and shadow will change as we move around the light source. As we move the source away, cast shadows get longer. But with one direct light source, these predictable basic tones remain in the same relationship to one another. Basically meaning, whether you render a ball in a high key or in a low key, the relationships of what is lightest and what is darkest will remain the same. If you'd like to study this further, you can buy geometric shapes online, paint them different colors, and then paint them under different light sources. Hard edges will demand attention from your viewers, while blurry edges will be a place for your viewers' eyes to relax and flow along the piece. Experiment with different edges, making some sharp and others soft and blurry. This will give your piece a painterly look, a sense of depth, and an element of realness because our human eyes don't see everything and focus all it wants. So, try playing around with edges, even if it means changing what the photo reference tells you, since cameras will typically capture everything sharp. The edge quality around the hair is one of the most fun places to experiment. Usually, you'll see harder edges around the corners of the head and then softer edges as you move down the length of the hair. Soft edges can actually be found where two objects touching have a similar value. They sort of naturally flow into each other. So you can grab a hold of this in your painting. Don't be afraid to leave things undefined. Also, look for areas where two touching edges have dramatically different values. These are great areas to enhance the sharpness. To make an edge sharp, use a higher contrast between values and decisive mark-making. Use a sharp-edged brush, fine marker or a sharpened pencil to help get the job done. Having hard and soft edges can give your piece of visual rhythm and it makes a painting exciting to continue looking out. 3. Planes of the Head: Some situations are better suited to start with a detailed sketch, but most often, I find the simplest approach to starting a portrait and painting mediums is to make a quick sketch for placement and then jump right into the big color masses and planes of the head. This is the head simplified into planes by the artist Andrew Lemus. Thinking with a plane's mentality, helps us think about the head in 3-D. Thinking this way can lead us to a solid structure to the head. It won't be flat, but believable because you took into account the 3-D turns of the forms of the head. Look at these paintings by John Singer Sargent. You can tell he thought in three dimensions. He wasn't thinking about the head in two dimensions on the canvas, but he was thinking about the head all the way around. Breaking down our subjects into planes also gives us a simplified way to visualize the big lighting statement. With all the complexities of the face simplified, it's easier to design the light. In a given lighting situation, each plane is angling to the light source slightly differently. So, each of these plane changes will result in a color or value change. This can be an almost imperceptible change or an obvious change, depending on the plane and the light source. The forehead can be broken down into three main planes, a center plane with two-angled side planes. This connects to this keystone shape here between the eyes and two eye socket planes. The nose can be broken down into a front plane, two side planes which angle off, and then two top nose wing planes, two bottom wing planes where the nostrils are, and a bottom plane. At the cheekbone, you can draw three imaginary lines. One to the Masseter, the chewing muscle; one to the chin; and one to where you would imagine the pointy canine tooth would land. This creates eight more planes, turning the head from front to sides. The mouth can also be broken down into planes, the most simple being the downward facing top lip and the upward facing bottom lip. But you can also break it down into six smaller planes like this. These are the main plane changes I consider as I get started on a portrait. Then as I get rolling, I start to consider the smaller plane changes, around the mouth, the chin, and on the neck. In a straight on view, upward facing planes, also known as top planes, are those planes that face generally upward. Downward facing planes, also known as under planes, face generally downward towards the ground. If you're having a hard time figuring out if something is an upward facing plane or a downward facing plane, put your hands on that plane on your own face and then pull it straight off in that same direction. If you could continue the path of your hand forever, would it eventually hit the sky or the ground? You'll be able to achieve a really nice structure to the head when you break it down into planes like this. A good exercise you can try to solidify this idea is to draw the planes of the head on top of photos. Once I went through a whole magazine and did this and it was really helpful for me. Doing this will help you start to think in 3-D, but you'll also start to notice the color and value changes that happen from plane to plane. These color changes from plane to plane are what are going to give us our main lighting effect when we start painting. In this class, I'll mostly be covering the adult portrait, but these same planes can be applied to any age, race or gender, just with different proportions and slight variations to the plane directions. These planes are just the starting point however. Once you get these, you'll need to add transition colors or apply another blending technique to help smoothly flow one plane into the next. This will turn your robot drawing into a human, but we'll talk more about this in the blending techniques video later in the class. 4. Skin Tones: A person's skin tone is really important because it's one of the main colors you're going to be working with on a portrait. It's a good idea to learn how to mix skin tones in the media you choose. If you work with a traditional medium, you might find it's a good idea to try copying your own skin color in neutral lighting, and take note of what colors you use to help you get the mixture you achieve. We get the best representation of a skin's local color under neutral soft illumination. Of course, when we start introducing light sources which way more warm or cool, as we'll find out, the color of the skin and light in shadow changes. But, knowing the basics of mixing local color skin tones will be a great place to start. You can also look at references. Master painters are great to study. Sergeant, Bouguereau, Zorn, or even some of the modern masters. If you're mixing with pigments, a good starting point for medium skin tones is a cambium red plus yellow ochre plus titanium white plus King's blue or aquamarine blue. But, rather than always sticking to a mixing recipe, take the time to observe each skin tone and experiment with other combinations. If you can get out to a live drawing session and paint from life, this is one of the best ways to quickly improve all aspects of your drawing and painting skills. There are a few things to consider when determining how to paint someone's skin. First you might consider what is the value? How light or dark is their skin? Second, what's the general hue? We all have our bases in an orange brown hue. But then taking it further, do they have a pink or reddish uniters skin? Or do they have a yellow or green undertone? Or is there no distinguishable undertone? Make comparisons to other colors to help you decide. Some skin tones lean more towards pinkish or reddish tones while others have golden or olive undertones. Lastly, what does the saturation of their skin? Do they have a more muted skin tone, or does their skin very rich and saturated? Finding answers to these questions can lead you towards painting better skin tones. Continue to experiment, adjust, and tweak each color component as you mix. A great paint color for mixing all sorts of skin tones is transparent oxide red. You can get a lot of really beautiful skin tone mixtures when you experiment with this paint. Breaking down hue a bit further, you'll sometimes see hue shifts that happen between these zones of the face. On light to medium skin tones, oftentimes the middle zone where the cheeks and those are, will have a more red or pink hue. This is the most obvious to see I think. On the bottom third of the face around the mouth her jaw,you can see a bluish or greenish hue. This is usually more visible on men who have a 5 o'clock shadow. Sometimes, the top zone of the forehead is more yellow or golden compared to the other two zones. Explore this idea case by case though, and observe to see if there are new variations between the zones of your subject's face and some dark skin tones. I've personally noticed the middle zone can actually go more golden than hues in red. So, be alert to changes and swain from this idea depending on the skin tone. Taking hue even further on all skin tones can be beautiful to experiment with broken color. The skin really shouldn't be one uniform color. You can place different hues right next to each other to help capture that sensation of light and color. Here, the skin tone is a medium value with yellow and orange undertones. It's also a pretty saturated skin tone, but we can add even more energy to the skin tone by using broken color. Zooming in, you can see how I danced some cooler pinks and purples across this area to help add some liveliness to the skin. I also scattered some broken colors into this portrait to help better show the feeling of light and color. Try keeping the value the same so that nothing pops out is too light or too dark. Just shift the hue around the color wheel and try skipping some new colors across your skin tones to liven them up. A quick note on working digitally, working with digital pain is much easier color wise because you can color pick directly from the image. Sometimes, I'll go ahead and play around with color adjustments and Photoshop if I think it will give me more visually pleasing colors. Here, I really like the effect of the bumped up saturation so we can see those beautiful colors in the shadows. Experiment with colors and change them up from the reference where you see fit especially if your goal is to make something more artistic or real looking. The camera can only give you so much color information. If you're coloring a character from your imagination, you may want to avoid painting on a white background first because the tendency can be to paint too lightly in value, leaving you little room for highlights. So, often it's easier to start with a mid tone value as your background color. Some oil painters will even tone their canvas first with a loose brown, blue, or green mixture. As a note for digital painters, I found that the natural skin tones will often lie here in this range with the hue pushed either more red or more yellow. But, of course there are always exceptions, so be observant and always experiment. 5. Light Sources: So, we just talked about the local color of skin tones. But really, local color is just a starting point, because like the lemon example earlier, we have to also consider the light source and what color temperature the light source is. The colors we'll be painting in pictures are the local colors as they are affected by the light source. In this section, we'll be walking through the tendencies of several common light scenarios. We'll be comparing and contrasting the color temperatures, edges, and values. I think really studying these basic scenarios will help us in creating better art pieces. A portrait painting or character illustration doesn't have to have a ton of different light sources to become a great piece. Really, a simple light scenario will be beautiful, so consider studying these scenarios and then continue to explore others from there if you wish. On a sunny clear sky day, the sun acts as a direct light source. Since the sun isn't diffused by clouds, the resulting shapes of light and shade on the face are pretty obvious for us to see. The cast shadows tend to have a harder edged quality and the values in the portrait are typically high contrast. The color temperature of outdoor sunlight will usually give you a warmth in the skin in the light and a coolness in the shadows. This is most clearly seen at sunrise and sunset. At these times, the light will be red orange in quality in the light and cool blue violet in the shadows. When you're looking at a person outside, you also have to consider their surroundings. The sun is hitting both the sky and everything else in the world, so these things become secondary light sources, subordinate to the sun itself but light sources all the same. In this situation where you see the edge of the hair is glowing with light, that means the person is facing away from the direct light source, the sun. But as you can see, her face is still illuminated. But how, if she's facing away from the sun? In this sort of situation, direct light from the sun is only reaching the back of her, but her face is actually being illuminated by secondary light sources, mainly the sky and the ground. The upward facing planes in the shadow area are affected by the skylight and color, and therefore have a blue quality to them. The downward facing planes are affected by the light and color of the ground, which is typically warm, since it's usually dirt, sand, a sidewalk or warm green grass. So, whenever you see the situation where a person's back is to the sun, you'll get this coolness on the upward facing planes, of the forehead, tops of the cheeks, nose bridge, top of the lips, and top of the chin. Then you'll see a warmth on the downward facing planes, the plane between the eyes, the bottom of the nose, the bottom of the cheeks, right below the bottom lip here and the bottom of the chin. This is continued down the neck, chest and eventually the body in the same way, with upward facing planes having a coolness and the downward facing planes having a warmth. It's really amazing when you start seeing this in real life, in pictures and in movies. I remember watching movies and seeing this all the time when I first learned this. It's a really beautiful effect that happens in real life and it translates quite beautifully to portrait art too. The sun is the main key light source on a clear sunny day though. So, keep this in mind, nothing in the shadow is going to be lighter in value than the strong light. Overcast lighting is basically the sun being blocked by a blanket of thick clouds. It's a diffused lighting scenario as we talked about earlier. With overcast light, light is coming from many directions all at the same time. As a result, value transitions from light to shadow get significantly softer. The contrast between light and shade is no longer intense and dramatic, but instead, it's very gradual. The edges of cast shadows are much softer than in a direct sunlight scenario. Remember to squint down to find the distinction between areas being hit by the light and areas falling into the shadows, this will help you paint them better. In my observation, light on an overcast day tends to go cooler in the light and warmer in the shadows. Often, I've seen pink or violet tones on the lights and warm orangey greens showing up in the shadows. If you enjoy painting from life, a good way to get relatively consistent natural lighting indoors, is to paint by a window. Portrait artists working indoors will often enjoy working in a north light studio. Light coming from the north has been accepted as the most consistent throughout the course of the day without direct light from the sun spilling in. If you're painting these flowers from life, for example, these shadow shapes would continue to move throughout the day, making them difficult to pin down in your drawing. But these shadow shapes will remain pretty consistent throughout the late hours of the day, providing you with lots of working time. Window light will typically give you a coolness in the light and a warmth in the shadows, but it's subject to change depending on what's outside the window. With a smaller window, the difference between light and shade will be more dramatic, with more intense shadows and sharper edges. With a larger window, the difference will be softer, with more gradual transitions between light and shade. A medium sized window, probably typical of most window lights scenarios, will land somewhere in between, with the transitions not too soft but not too hard. But the subject's distance from the window itself will also make a difference here. So, being observant will always be the key. North-facing window light is a comfortable way to paint from life while also having a relatively consistent lighting scenario. You can set up a still life to make a color study, make a self-portrait or even have a friend sit for you. Facing your model more into the light, you can get some very flattering soft skin tones. To find which windows in your house face the most towards north, you can use a compass or a compass app on your phone. There are so many different types of electric light bulbs in the world. So, to simplify, let's just start by differentiating between those most common color temperatures. With electric lighting, the most common you'll see are warm orangey or yellow lights, neutral white lights and cool blue lights. Warm lighting is often seen in the home. This give a sense of warmth and coziness which makes sense for home use. When you see this type of electric lighting on the face, you'll see orangey warm tones in the light and cooler tones in the shadows. White neutral lighting is often found in places like classrooms. This is a good task lights-wise because it keeps colors as close to their local color as possible. The colors in the light and shade are more neutral and not extremely obvious in their color differences. Cool lighting is often a more modern type of lighting, often seen in event lighting. This type of light will display a blueness in the skin tone in the light and will produce warmer shadows when they're light enough in value for us to see. When they're not diffused by a lamp shade, all bulbs are direct light sources. So, they'll usually produce hard-edged cast shadows and the value changes from light to dark will be pretty obvious for us to see. But as we know, there are many ways to diffuse light bulbs. For example, domes on ceiling fans provide a bit of diffusion, as do lampshades. When a source of diffusion like this is added, the lighting softens, producing softer edges between light and shade on the face and overall lower contrast in values. Often, photographers will combine two to three electric light sources in the same composition, which can be somewhat confusing for us to try and dissect at first glance. But with a little patience, we can figure it out. Usually, they'll use a key light, the main light source to form the face, then they'll often add a fill light as a subordinate light on the shadow side to add some color and light back into the shadows, and then they'll sometimes use a room light, which can be placed behind the subject to backlight the head or hair, providing a separation between the subject and the background. Photographers will often diffuse electric light sources with umbrellas or soft boxes. As we know, this results in a more subdued effect. They'll also use white boards, as I mentioned earlier, as secondary light sources that will reflect light back up into the shadows, adding information to these forms that would have otherwise read as stark darkness. Of course, some photographers will leave this dark, as it all depends on the mood of the piece. Electric lighting situations can become extremely experimental as the possibilities are endless and not as straightforward as some of these other lighting scenarios. So, take the time to investigate a little, and try your best to figure out what you think the color of the light is in the photo and then the resulting shadows, and how hard or soft the lighting is, and how that affects the edges between light and shadow. The use of fire light, candle light, sparklers or lanterns in your painting can be really beautiful. It will create mood instantly and make your viewers wonder about your subject's story. There will be beautiful warm oranges in the light from the flames and cool blues in the shadows, especially if your subject is outside with the sky above them. In firelight scenarios, the contrast will be high and the shadow shapes will be pretty distinct. It's important to note that sometimes photos can't capture these true colors. So, you'll always want to be observing nature as you go through your day to day life, then you can bring some of the things you learned back to your art making. 6. Lighting Angles: You can move your subject and your light source around endlessly. But in this video, I want to show you a few that you see all the time in photography, paintings, and illustrations because they translate over it really well. I'll be using terms photographers for sometimes used to help us like Willey's. Butterfly lighting happens when the light source is overhead and slightly forward from the model. Probably, the most obvious shadow shape that is produced in this scenario is the one right under the nose. I often simplify it, think of it as an upside down triangle. You'll also see the planes around the eyes fall into shadow. The top lip will fall into shadow, and you'll also get a cast shadow below the bottom lip. The side planes of the face around the jaw will also start to fall into shadow. You'll see this sort of shape cast onto the neck from the head. Like I mentioned earlier, I like to paint form shadows and cast shadows together into one shape when I can, and then find their intricacies. What's really cool is, you can see these shapes show up from one person to the next. Because we all have the same basic points. Once you memorize these basic shadow shapes, you can use them even in imaginative sketches, and pull off the look of your subject being lit from above. Butterfly lighting works great for both portraits and character illustrations. Loop lighting is another one that works really well for both portraits and characters. See this little loop of shadow here. That's characteristic of loop lighting. The shadow cast from the nose goes off to one side usually pointing downwards towards the mouth. To get loop lighting, the light source is placed above, and then pushed a bit to the left or right of the model. In a loop lighting scenario, these planes will fall into shadow. You'll get a cast shadow from the lips and again on the neck forming a triangle shape. Loop lighting also works well in a three-quarter view. This is referred to as broad loop lighting as we are exposed to more of the light side. Going around to the shadow side, we have what's called short loop lighting. I've seen broad loop lighting work particularly well for character illustrations. It's a simple clean way to light your characters. I think all the loop lighting scenarios can work well for more realistic work. When you see a triangle on the cheek, you know you're dealing with Rembrandt lighting. To achieve Rembrandt lighting, the light sources placed above and to the left or right of the model, connecting the nose shadow to the cheek shadow. This is a pleasing line angle and trusted by many artists and portrait painters since it produces flattering results. Many of the old masters painted with light hitting their subjects in this way. I personally reserved this more dramatic lighting for my more realistic portrait work, rather than for my sketchy characters. But experiment to see what you like. Split lighting is very dramatic. With split lighting, the light source is to the side of the model. The edge between light and shadows splits the face into half light and half shadow. The intensity of this lighting angle is good for portraying moodier scenes. Rim lighting also known as edge lighting occurs when the light is behind this object. It produces this really dramatic effect, especially when the background is dark. Allowing the rim light to really pop. When the head is turned into a profile view, it's important to keep in mind that the rim light may not be the same line weight as it goes along the face. Wider planes will have more light land on them. For example, the light lands more thickly on the forehead than on the nose. You'll often see rim lighting around the edge of hair, and it gives a really beautiful effect. It can also help separate the subject in your illustration from the background. Underlighting can have a great storytelling effect. It's achieved when the light is placed in front of and below the subject. This is kind of the opposite of butterfly lighting. All the planes are lit in the opposite way. Planes that usually get hit by light are now in shadow, and planes typically in shadow are now hit by light. This is an attention-grabbing lighting scenario. Often, it's used if someone is at a campfire, if they're holding the candle, or if they're holding something magical that glows. It can give a spooky feeling, a quiet feeling, or a magical feeling. Depending on how you play the other parts of the piece like the subject themselves and their expression. I don't know what else to call this type of lighting. But I see it all the time. Especially, in character illustrations. Nose pop lighting, as I'm going to call it, occurs when the key light source is above and slightly behind the subject so that only their nose and the top of their forehead pops into light. I found that this is a good lighting angle for cute characters. Because it catches the cute roundness of the nose. This can also work well for a female model. Now, with all these angles, I've shown them to you in direct light scenarios. Because I want you to see the shadow shapes clearly. But of course, you can also replicate these in soft or diffused light scenarios. Edges will just be significantly softer, and value changes won't be as certain. These are just a few lighting angles to help get you started. These may seem simple, but they prove reliable to me. The shapes will carry over from one face to the next. So, once you have these basics memorized, you can reproduce them on any type of face. So, experiment and find the lighting angles that you love the look of. 7. Blending Techniques: Now, let's talk about how we can blend and smooth out the transitions from one plane to the next. We aren't faceted like these planes models. So, we can't just leave it at that. We can soften edges between planes a few different ways, and I'm going to show you some of my go to methods and some of my favorite mediums. When painting in photoshop, I personally don't like to use an airbrush to paint planes. Instead, I'll usually start with a harder edged brush. This helps give me the more solid structure that I want. When it comes to smoothing out a transition, what I'll sometimes do is color pick from the first plain, and then color pick from the second plane and then see where they land. I like to see what color could fall between those two colors. This one seems about in the middle, so I try this one. Then I repeat this process as much as I want until I have several incremental color changes that helped me transition from one big plane to the next. Then, I can take my airbrush and smooth it out a bit if I want. Color picking as I paint on top of these. Another method I use, is I pick up one color and lightly color it into the next. Then I pick up the other color with my eyedropper tool and pull that one lightly back into the first color. I continue back and forth like this until the blend is smooth. You can do this for all of the plain changes that need to be smoothed out. In Photoshop, color picking is really easy and If you have a tablet, you can program the button on your pen to the eyedropper tool when you click it. Check out my Photoshop Demystify class if you need help programming this. In the Procreate app on the iPad Pro. One of my favorite ways to blend, is to use the smudge tool with the soft pastel brush. Using this brush, you can just drag and pull these colors into each other and it will create a beautiful blend. Here, you can see the soft pastel smudge technique in action. Again, like in Photoshop, you can also use the method where you try to find colors that would land right in between. With oil paints, you can smooth out the transition by squiggling your brush down the two plains like this. This can create a new transition color. As with the other mediums, you can also mix up a new color that could land between them value wise. Here are mixing up the lighter color with the darker color on my palette, to create a sort of middle tone that would fall between them. With soft pastels, you can overlap the colors while you draw and then you can smooth that out with your finger or a tissue. You can even use Q-tips and stamps for smaller areas. With markers, like the Copic markers I'm using here, you'll have to really have a plan of action with your lighting, which is a bit different than the painterly approach I've been teaching thus far, where you can just kind of slap on color changes and blend them later. With markers, and with a medium like watercolor too, you'll get the smoothest transitions when you work from light to dark. Copic's, I think are one of the best brands of markers on the market, because they're very smooth and buildable too. If you're considering investing in markers, I would recommend purchasing lighter colors than you'd think. Also buy a few colors near each other on their chart, as this will ensure you can easily get these smooth transitions. Here are the colors I like to use. I started with my very lightest color and slowly but surely worked my way up to the darker tones. I'll be making a class soon on how you can color your characters with these markers. So, be sure to look out for that. 8. The Smaller Forms of the Face: After you blend the basic structural planes, you have to build back on top of that. This is where you can start working on some of the smaller forms of the face. These are the forms I see most often on the face. This W shape around the mouth, these little bean-like shapes at the corners of the mouth, these forms that stretch from the nose to the mouth, and these little triangles above the eyebrows, which can often catch light. See how these forms and others are showing up on this man's face. So, be on the lookout for these smaller forms. Some will show through obviously, but most often, I've found they're pretty subtle, especially on young people and on women. So, they should be carefully considered and drawn with care. This is the part of portrait painting that takes the longest time. Things will start to slow down as you carefully start observing and rendering the less obvious turns of the face. So, during this time just be patient with yourself and keep your observational cap on. You don't have to put these in on characters, but for modeling realistic portraits, you may want to consider giving some attention to these smaller forms. If you'd like to learn more about these smaller forms of the face, check out these books. To learn more about the rhythmic linework you can apply when you draw them, check out the Frank Reilly method. 9. More Lighting Effects: In this video, I want to run through some more lighting effects, which can be really cool to try out in your pieces. When light shines on a tree, many of the light's rays are blocked by the leaves, but through the holes of the trees, some light can still come through. These spots of light produce a dappled light effect. They can be circular shapes, elliptical, or abstract. Saturated red or orange can often be seen along the edges like there are here. Inside the picture, things like hats, hair and bangs, and sunglasses, will cast shadows on the face. I recommend using a reference if you're making this up on a character. These sorts of cast shadows in direct light will usually have a defined edge quality. You can also imagine the objects outside the picture casting shadows on your subject. This is a good way to create a sense of drama. Half shadows like this create a sense of wonder for your viewer. Hard cast shadows will indicate something closer while very soft shadows will indicate something far away in the distance. This creates drama, mood in the start of a story. Window shades can also cast really interesting shadow shapes on your subject. Subsurface scattering can be seen in certain lighting scenarios on the ears, fingertips, and sometimes on the edge of the nostrils. You know when you see someone outside and light is coming from behind them, and their ears are this bright saturated red orange color? That's subsurface scattering in action. What's happening is light is entering the translucent flesh of the ears and bouncing all around inside. You can also see this if you turn the flashlight on on your phone and put your finger on top. You can see how your finger has a translucency to it and it will glow with light. You can also go into a dark room with a mirror and put the flashlight right behind your ear. Light enters the scan and spreads out beneath the surface to create this glow. In a high key painting, there's a lighter tonal range for the entire piece. Instead of working in a full range of values, the value range looks more like this. I've seen a lot of successful high key paintings that hang out in beautiful pastel zones. It's like playing the piano and shifting all the notes a couple octaves higher. It creates a different mood. Low key paintings are like shifting the piano keys all the way down to the low notes. Things get moodier. It's a different feel. Low key paintings explore the darker side of the value scale. A halation is the soft glowy effect that sometimes can happen on a hot or bright day. It's a soft glow that goes beyond the natural boundaries of an object. Adding this effect with a big soft brush, will look really beautiful in paintings. I'll sometimes add them around the hair, the skin, or around the subjects' clothes. It works really well to harmonize colors as well. Take a look at this and stare at the center of the shape for a few moments. Have you ever watched a person speaking on stage for such a long time that the edges around them started to become a bright color and sort of glow? When our eyes are exposed to a color for a long time and then we look away, our eyes will see the colors complement. This is referred to as an afterimage. Don't look away, but do you see in your peripheral vision right now how the edges of the shape are starting to glow a cool blue color? Now as I take this shape away, you can see the entire blue afterimage. This is a real thing that our eyes do but we can capture this effect in our paintings as well. Here, I used the channels in Photoshop to mimic the sort of effect, but you can also hand draw colored edges if you like this idea. You can also experiment with colored bulbs, colors other than the typical warm orange yellow or cool blue. This can produce a dramatic and interesting portrait. Using the complementary colors together can make for a really interesting piece. On a face, particularly when there's a bit more oil on the skin, you can see highlights on the forehead, the nose bridge, the tip of the nose, the cheekbones, the top of the lips, on the bottom lip, at the top of the chin, around the brows, and at the corners of the inner eyes. On some occasions, you'll only see some of these and on other occasions you may see all of these. These highlights will also naturally show up on men but if you've ever seen make up tutorials, you know how makeup artists strive to enhance this glow by adding highlighter to some of these points. Oils can also collect at the nose burrows, sometimes adding highlights there as well. Glossy lips will also have a highlight. Looking closely, it's usually a collection of horizontal and vertical dashes and dots, which together make an abstract looking shape. Sparkle eye shadow will also catch a little dot highlights. Experiment with the color of the highlight. Light pastel tints work nicely and white will bring the impact as well. Eyeballs are wet and this shininess gives us more highlights. Eye highlights are going to be on the same side the light is coming from. So, here, the light is coming from this side so the highlights in the eyes will also be on this side. Honestly though, you can move shiny highlights like this around and people aren't going to notice. Probably because in real life, light is usually coming from many different directions all at once. So, in characters, I'll sometimes get creative with the eye highlights, but if you want a general role for placement, place them on the same side the light source is on. Look for highlight bands on the hair. There are an endless variety of hairstyles so it's difficult to pin down an exact formula for drawing and painting it. So, be on the lookout for shapes of light that repeat themselves from one hairstyle to the next. When in doubt, seek out a reference. A quick note for hair though, try to find big groups of hairs that you can make into big shapes. Look for S-curves and C-curves throughout the hair. Draw the big forms first, and then add detail hairs later. Also when you paint hair, there are usually baby hairs around the hairline that make for a nice segue value from the forehead into the hair. So, look for this value change as it will help you transition smoothly into the hair. 10. Using References: Most references won't be exact cookie cutter-like scenarios like we've been talking about in class, but knowing these lighting basics will help you analyze references and will help you understand what you're looking at better. When you're observing a photo, take into account the tilt of the head. This will change things from the norm because light will be hitting the plane slightly differently, but not so much so that you won't be able to understand it. When observing a reference, you also have to take into account the possible use of more than one light source. Put a little patience into this. Find what direction the most powerful light source is coming from and then, go from there. References to avoid are typically photos with flat lighting, where the light and shade are not obvious to you. You'll have to rely a lot on drawing skills for this, and in my experience this type of reference is generally not as fun to work from and can often lead to a flat looking drawing. Since colors can change from real life to photos, sometimes I'll bump up the saturation a little on my photo references that I can capture slightly more vivid colors. Those subtle hue shifts from warm to cool are sometimes missed in photography. So, try to include some subtle color shifts in the skin tones even when they're not there in the photo. Reflected light sources can also be lost in photo references. So, consider the surroundings of the subject in the photo, especially if the camera pick things up as dark brown or black. Before you start a painting from a reference photo, quickly have your brain assess the situation. You can ask yourself questions like, is the subject indoors or outdoors? What's the main light source? From what angle is the light hitting the subject? What's the general color temperature of the light? Are the cast shadows hard or soft? Is there more than one light source? When you have the answers to these sorts of questions at the beginning, things start becoming clearer in your head, and when things are clear in your head, they'll be clear in your drawing as a result. So, let's analyze a reference together. So, is he inside or outside? Well, he's obviously outdoors and it looks like the sun is probably settling since he's lit from the side here. It's almost like a split lighting scenario. The sun is our main light source and is providing us with warm tones in the light, and we're getting cooler tones in the shadows. Were getting a bit of light here though, and I believe that's from the sun hitting the cloudy sky, and then the sky is acting like a secondary light source, so it's illuminating his forms in the shadows. The sun is making it so that some of the cast shadows are hard, particularly you can see it from his shirt onto his collar here. That cast shadow is pretty crisp. If we squint down at the picture or if you turn the picture grayscale, we can see that we have a pretty full range of values here, and I'm also observing how there's some subsurface scattering happening here around his nose. This is the sort of thing you can do to start assessing the reference, and while you're painting you'll continue to make discoveries like this. When you're drawing say a character, which is more imaginative, and you're trying to decide how to light them, you can start with one of the more common scenarios shown in class and then, use references whenever you need them. I'll have lots of references available for you to browse through in using your pieces. I'll put a link to these class resources in the community section and in the your project section here on Skillshare. When coloring and lighting a character, you can also use a photo of a real person to give you your color and lighting information, or you can even take inspiration from the Masters. They knew what they were doing. Photos of ball jointed dolls are also really great references for character lighting, because their proportions are more character like and cutesy already. Also, the Handy app is great for coming up with possible lighting scenarios for your characters, as well as the Anatomy 360 Neutral Heads Pack. 11. Class Project: I know there's a lot to watch for this class, but it's just as much about what you do after you watch these videos. It's about putting the ideas from class into action through practice. So, here are some class exercises you can do to bring your skills and understanding of light into the next level. Draw a ball with light and shade. I know it seems basic but this will teach you how to work edges, how to make smooth transitions between tones, and how to make all the values work in proper relationship with each other. If you're working in a digital medium, try not to use the color picker, so you can get practice picking up proper values. If something pops out in a weird way, take that as a cue that the values are wrong. Drawing from life with one light source on a ball would be awesome, but if you don't have a ball you can use this reference here. Draw the planes on top of a photo. Grab a magazine or an online photo and get to know the planes of the face. Think about the 3-D quality and how each plane gets its own color. Don't worry if it's not an exact lineup. These are generalities and every face will have slight variations. Practice painting some of the basic lighting patterns we've learned on the plane set. Use grayscale values to really learn the value changes that can happen. Now, let's talk about some final projects you can make. Take one character and light them four different ways. Use any combination of light source and angle. This can help you figure out your taste and what you like the look of best. Finally, paint a character, stylized portrait, or a realistic portrait with light and shade. Share any or all of these practice exercises and projects with the class. The doing part of this class is really where your work is going to start transforming. We can talk about light and shade all day, but nothing will truly change in our work until we grab our favorite mediums and start wrestling with the ideas. This is a complex subject that needs our patience and attention. The more we learn in practice though, the better we're going to get, and that's exciting. 12. Lighting a Character Demo: So, before we begin, I want to show you a few different ways you can go about lighting your characters. You don't have to always render things realistically. There's a way to simplify that still gets the point across. The most basic way is simple cel shading. You can simplify lighting into four basic parts: painting a shape for the highlight, light, form shadow, and cast shadow. But you can also expand upon this. Like, in the second example that I called artistic license. I took that simple idea, but then I expanded on it adding a bit of tonal variety to the shadows, losing some edges and giving the ball a bit of a glow with a soft airbrush, or if you like, you can take your character to a fully rendered place. Personally, I usually land somewhere between the first two options. But you're the artist, so you get to decide what your aesthetic is. Expanding on this idea of cell shading a bit more, you can keep one side simplified and render the other side. So, for example, on this ball, I added a few more tonal changes on the light side, but left the shadows simple. On this ball, I left the light flatter and put more detail into the shadows. So, you can go simple without going all the way to cel shading. So, I made the sketch in the Procreate app with the willow charcoal brush. If you've taken my design a female character class, you know all about how to sketch characters like this. And if you've made a sketch for that class, you can even use it for this project if you'd like. So, I'm setting up her face here and I end up pushing her proportions around quite a bit with a selection tool, and at this point, I'm happy with the sketch; so, I start going in with some base colors. I'm going to make a class about my process for coloring characters. So, if you need help with that, keep an eye out. I'm also putting in just a few local color changes like I made her cheeks a bit pinker. Here is the finished sketch. If you'd like to download it and use it for your project, you can. In my first example, I'm going to walk through it and close to real time so that you can catch all the little things that happen. So, here I have a background color, my character, and then another layer on top. And the first thing I do is I fill that layer with a color, I have the blending mode set to multiply on this, and then I right click the layer and press create Clipping Mask, and now I'm just lowering the opacity of it. This makes it so that the color is only going to stick to the pixels right below it. So, in this case, they stick to the character, and then I press this button right here to add a layer mask. Basically, this is going to allow us to paint in a non-destructive way. So, it seems weird, but you'll quickly get the hang of it. You use black paint to reveal the lighter values underneath on this layer and you'll use white paint to darken it up again. I know it seems weird, but once you get it, it's easy. I usually don't paint this way with a bunch of layers and layer masks. Usually, I would like to paint with one layer. But, for this practice, where we're kind of experimenting with lighting angles and scenarios, I think it's a good method for practicing because you can kind of lightly paint on the canvas until you get it just right and it's easy to make slight adjustments if you need to. As you can see, I'm starting off using an airbrush and this is because, in general, the style of my characters is very soft and feminine. So, unlike with more realistic portraits, I don't go in with hard planes. For my character drawings, it's more about capturing the light effect than capturing every facet of illumination. So, you'll see some planes I'll even leave out for the sake of a softer looking face. This is kind of how I like to think in terms of character planes for my girls. This is just another part of that whole artistic license thing. I'm just using these general references here to start marking out some points that would be hit by light in an underlying scenario. I'm using a pretty light pressure for this actually, as I'm trying to figure it all out still. Now, I'm moving on to using a harder brush and, by the way, I'll have this available for you guys to download as well. So, as you can see with the white paint, I can kind of soften the edge and bring it back into the shadow zone. This layer mask makes it so that we can make these adjustments all day long. So, I'm slowly, but surely, sneaking up on this lighting effect. That's just as fine of an approach as slapping on color changes really quickly. Always use the process that gives you as the artist the best results, and that may vary even one character illustration to the next. I really like this brush for this. It makes a really nice downward stroke. The wise thing to do at this point would be to grab a photo reference of hair in an under lit scenario. But I'm going to imagine that these hairs would have a bit more light since they're closer to the light source. I'm changing the background color now as a story is starting to form in my head. Like maybe she's at a campfire, so I'm making it a darker color. By the way, if any of these things I'm doing with Photoshop seem unfamiliar to you, you can check out my Photoshop Demystified class, where I walk through the very basics. Also as a quick note, when you're working with a layer mask, make sure this part right here is clicked. If you have the other part clicked, you'll run into problems. So, when you're using the black and white paint to paint, make sure this is clicked. So now, I'm happy with this general effect I'm getting so I merge these layers. I add another layer and add a little bit of an orange glow, set it to soft light and then, I merge them too. Then I duplicate the character layer because I want to try out a little REM light sheet. So, what I do is, I lock the transparent pixels by clicking this button here and I fill it with white paint. Then I drag that layer out, and then, just erase the parts I don't need. This is something I just thought of doing on the fly but it worked so I kept it. Here you can see I'm experimenting with different colors, just using that paint bucket tool to fill it in. Then, I'm just continuing to try out different colors with image, adjustments, hue saturation. Now, I'm just adding a couple of flyaway hairs. And I turn the smoothing up a bit so I could get a nice smooth stroke. I'm happy with this, so I merge the layers. So, I really like this violetty purple color on here. So, I color pick that and I start lightly adding that into her shadow areas. Then, I start experimenting with the blending mode a bit. You can use the scroll on your mouse to scroll through some of these blending mode options. I end up duplicating the layer too because I like the impact of that. Then I merge the layers. Now, I'm selecting this color range, grabbing an orange, and using a gradient to apply a gradient of orange to her face from the bottom up. I'm trying to think about the intensity of the light and how it will be stronger on her on the areas that are closer to the light source, and then, it would fall off as her face gets further from the light source. Then I change the blending mode to multiply, lower the opacity, and merge those layers. This is all experimentation you're watching. It's not like I have an exact method for this that I follow every time. A lot of my art is made by trying things out. If they work, they work and if they don't, they don't. Now, I'm messing around with the curves adjustment a little bit to see if that will give me something fun. Now, I'm trying some color look-up adjustments and just scrolling through them with my mouse. I always seem to like crisp winter. Now, I select the entire piece and copy it, and then I go back in my history to this warmer version and I edit the levels to be a bit more intense. Then I paste this cooler version. Now, I have the cooler version on top and the warmer version below it. Now, I grab a soft eraser and erase the cool layer to reveal the warmth below. I hit all those planes that would get hit by the warm underlay. So, I get right below the eyes, right above the eyes, the bottom of the nose, and around the jaw and chin. Once I'm happy, I merge it again. I merge because I like to work on one layer but it also find it helps me be a decisive painter. Now, with a new layer in this brush, I go in and put in some highlights down here. I put some of these little highlights on the rest of these features too. Now, adding and some darker adjustments here and there, just tweaking at this point and using a really light pressure on my pen. Now, I duplicate the piece because I want to move the highlight on the chin. My instinct is to add highlights a certain way because I rarely work in this lighting scenario. But really, the highlight would be lower, closer to the source. So, I make that adjustment. I also add a highlight to the bottom lip at the bottom. So, here's how I left it in Photoshop, and then I made a few more adjustments once I took it to Instagram. I feel like Instagram is really a nice editor, even though you can do all the same things in Photoshop. So, I adjusted the brightness and brought that up a little, and I brought up the contrast as well. Then I brought up the saturation and the warmth a bit, and then with the color, I applied this purple color, finally, I sharpened the image. Here's the finished piece. Now, we're going to speed it up a little and run through a few more lighting scenarios that I think will work really well for your characters. So, this one will be a butterfly lighting, so the light source is above and slightly forward from the model. So with this one, I'm not working with the layer mask from the start, instead, I use the lasso tool to put in some of these darker butterfly scenarios shapes, and you can see I have this layers blending modes set to darken. I'm using these references as a general guide for where to place my shadow shapes. Here, I painted this shadow shape on it's own layer and then selected it and blurred the edge by going to filter, blur, gaussian blur. I like these little andrae shapes and eye corner shapes, so I'm just lightly hinting at those with little value shifts around the eyes, and I put in the highlights but in the end I'll go back and change these to be highlights more typical of a butterfly lighting scenario. So, I zoom in and out a lot because I like to see if details I'm adding also work from a distance. So, now I'm selecting this part of the hair and I just darken it a bit, and then fade it off. The hair would probably really have a harder edged quality in real life, but I'm taking my artistic license and softening this fade off from light to shade. Also, I'm putting a little cast shadow on where the hair would cast a shadow on the face. In this scenario, it will leave a little shadow like this. Right there, I just adjusted the shape and proportion of eyes by going to filter, liquify. Now, I'm adding a soft glow to the top of her hair. I'm setting that layer to soft light, adjusting the hue a bit and merging the layers. So now I'm just changing the placement of the eye highlights, but as I mentioned, it's okay if you want to get creative with these. You'll notice also how I left these planes falling into shadow out. Again, this is just an artistic choice I made for my style of characters. I found when I make this jaw plain too dark on them, it begins to look strange, so I just left it out. Now, I'm going to demo a quick loop lighting scenario. I start off with the shape of the nose shadow, this little shadow here and the next shadow, I use the lasso tool to help me get these shapes in. For some situations, it works better to start with dark and pull out the lights, and for other situations like this, I find it works better for me to start with the lights and put in the shadows shapes. I think this broad loop lighting scenario works well for characters, and it's not too hard to do. Remember that the upper lids will cast a shadow onto the eyeballs, so I cast a little shadow here, otherwise the eyes will pop out as too bright, so I add cush out of there. I think I looked up a reference online to see how a little shadow could fall on the shoulder in this lighting situation. So, Google around for references if you're ever unsure of how something could look. Now, I'm putting those highlights on the same side as the light source, hinting out the irises and now I'm just adding those finishing touches of light and dark accents, and I'm going to call this one finished. For this final demo, let's try nose pop lighting. I start off by actually making a duplicate of my character, locking the opacity, filling it with a top color and then changing the blending mode to multiply. But the way I showed you in the first demo is actually a quicker way to get to the same end point. Now, like I did in the first demo, I add a layer mask and start pulling out those lights with black paint. For this one, I actually had a pulse recording and go look at myself in the mirror with my hair down in the style to see how light would fall on my forehead in this lighting situation. It turned out the light made a triangular shape on the forehead, so you'll see me putting it in and out on the piece. But in the end, I didn't really like the shape quality it had on my character, so I used my artistic license card again and kept the four hats soft. I think it's a good idea to store up some references when you see them so that when you need them, you won't have to search the internet endlessly to try and find them. If you'd like ideas on how you can do this, join my 10 minute inspiration board class. You'll see these little forms above the brows pop into light a little, but I kept it soft so the character wouldn't look too aggressive. Don't forget about that saturated little edge that can happen around here. You can use the dodge for really strong highlights, just be careful with it though as it can easily get away from you. Now, I'm adding a dark layer of the whole thing, and I'm using a layer mask and black paint to erase them out, to sort of give this spotlight effect. Here's the finished piece. These are just some of my favorite lighting angles to use on characters, but I experiment with all of them. If you choose to do a project, use whatever medium you'd like. It'll be really cool to see this in all sorts of mediums, so be sure to share with the class. I have the references available in the class resources, but you can also use masterworks and photos as your color and lighting inspiration too. 13. Stylized Portrait Demos: So if you'd like to download my favorite procreate app brushes, you can grab those in the "Your project" section under "Class resources." So for those painting I'm just slapping on colors here and I'm not looking at anything too specific just yet. I'm just getting the shapes of color up there so I have something to work with. And then as you can see, it's starting to take form. So, I'm getting into some of the smaller shapes here, and then on the face I'm starting to think about those color temperature shelfs. This is one of those instances where the model is facing away from the sun as we can see because of the rim light around her. So, in that situation as we know the upward facing planes are going to have a cooler quality to them in color since they're facing the sky and the downward facing planes are going to have a warmth because they're facing the ground. So even on her chest here, you can see that happening, the upward facing plane of her chest has a coolness to it and the downward facing plane has a warmth to it. In the background, you just saw that I blended that out and I'm just using the amazing procreate for smudge tool. I absolutely love the smudge tool and procreate. And recently, my favorite smudge tools are the soft pastel brushes. Now, I'm using a 6B pencil to go in and start defining. So I'm getting that rim light in the hair here and around her arm and now I'm just starting to put in some little feature shapes. I like to get those little dark corners of the mouth end, that helps me place the lips. I also like to get the shape of the bottom of the nose in see that orange shape. I like to get that in and then also just those eye socket shapes. This obviously isn't a realistic piece. I just want to capture the effect of this rim light scenario. Rim lighting is always so stunning to me, so I really wanted to make that my focus, not worry about details of her face or things like that or even capturing her likeness, but I wanted to focus on light and the beauty of light. And I think this one it really didn't take me that long. I think it took maybe an hour and I could have brought it to a further point but I was like, I like how this looks, so I left it at this sketchy and stylized. And right now with that little detail on the top of her dress, I'm not copying that at all, I just put in a few strokes really quick with the Willow Charcoal brush and I thought it captured the shape quality of that so I left it just like that. So, for this piece, I downloaded the picture on the left from and then I edited it in Photoshop to be more of a color palette I wanted. So, I darkened her skin tone a bit and I use that minty green color for the background. So to set this up I'm using the 6B pencil large and I really like this brush for a couple of reasons. I like it first of all because you can get a really tiny thin line with it when you use the tip of your Apple pencil and then you can also get a really nice thick stroke when you put the pencil on its side and use the side of the pencil. So, I really love this brush. It's one of my all time favorites. So, I'm just setting up the shapes here and now I'm using the bristle brush to smudge things around. So, as you can see, this hair is a complete and total mess but again, this one's one of those instances where I wasn't really worried about capturing everything perfectly like hair for hair. I was more interested in capturing the feeling of this girl, who's looking over her shoulder and maybe as she's moving her head over her shoulder there's some swish to her hair and I really wanted to capture the movement of that. So, I wanted my brushstrokes to reflect that movement and that's why I left this a little bit wild. So, now with my 6B pencil, I'm starting to get in some of those feature details and I'm starting to anchor them into place. What's nice about digital painting is you can move things around with a Lasso and selection tools. So, even if there's something that's slightly in the wrong place, you have the ability to move it unlike with traditional tools where once you put it in, you either got to stick with it or you've got to erase it. So, that's one of the really nice advantages of digital painting tools. So, as far as the lighting goes in this, I think it lands somewhere in between split lighting and a rim brown lighting scenario. It's really soft but if I had to call it one, I would say it's pushed a bit more into a rim brown lighting scenario. As you can see I have that little small triangle of light on her far cheek. So, at this point, I kept putting things in and taking them out and I realized that this piece isn't meant to go any further than this. It's just meant to be this simple sketchy stylized portrait, so I left it at this. 14. Realistic Portrait Demos: For this painting, I started with a soft brush with the background and then went right in with the 6B pencil large. Using the side of the Apple Pencil to get these nice thick strokes. I'm just getting shapes of color up. So, I have something to start pushing around. I start with big shapes first and then start putting in some smaller shapes. I notice there a tilt to his head, but I'm not overly fussed about putting that in. So, I leave him more straight up now. Now, I don't notice I decided to edit the colors from the reference and you can do that right and procreate with the adjustments. I wanted to work with darker colors. In my experience from working from life, I've noticed that photos tend to wash out the colors of skin tones. Kind of lightening them a bit. So, I wanted to edit the photo to make the skin tones richer and a bit darker. So, analyzing the light, we can see that there are two light sources on his face. The main one is coming from the right side and then a secondary source is filling in his shadows on the left. As you can see, this results in highlights in the eyes. Actually being on two different sides, which is interesting. You don't typically see that. Eventually, thinking in terms of planes won't be this rigid thing that seems really forced. It will come naturally and will flow in and out as you work. It's helpful to study other conceptualizations of the head as well, such as the Frank Riley rhythm lines I mentioned. So, now that I have a good base in place, I go in with my soft pastel brush and lightly smudge all the colors of the composition into each other. You may be thinking, but you just put in all that time just to smudge it out, and I get that. It's hard to let go of a painting, but I know that in the end I'll be glad I did this. Because it works to unify the piece and in the end it helps make for a more lifelike portrait. After I smudge, I go and put my light and dark accents to start locking some parts back in Nicholas. Measuring with a straight line on a new layer, I see that things aren't lining up exactly. So, I move this part of the face down. Again, this is one of those times where I'm very thankful I'm painting digitally. You can work out proportions in traditional mediums, too. Like with oil paints, you could just repaint it, but it's definitely more of a challenge. For this portrait, I use mostly these brushes. These are my go-to's for portraits. So, he definitely has a more aggressive expression in my painting than I want him to have. That's from these forms being too heavily drawn right over the eyebrows, and I work that out a bit more over time. But that's the sort of smaller form of the face that you have to be subtle about, especially on something like a baby portrait. For the most part, I'm color picking from the image. Although I will sometimes adjust the hue, value or saturation a bit, if I think it would be better that way. Now, I switch things up. I'm moving into working in Photoshop, and I'm just softening up those transitions with this brush made by Charlie Bowater. It's one of those nice brushes that has a texture quality to it while still being soft. Now, I'm using a big airbrush to lightly add some soft glows. For this portrait, because it's more realistic, I'm thinking about the planes of the head much more than I was on the character and also about those smaller forms of the face. These things definitely take some patience and focused attention. That's part of the reason why I don't show these two guys in real time, because you'd be sitting here forever. But if there's a want for real time demos, I can share those with you on the future. Moving into Photoshop with this really helped me get a fresh high. If you don't have to digital painting programs though, even just taking some time to walk away from your painting and can come back to it, can help you see things from a new perspective when you come back. You'll see mistakes more easily after some time away. So, if you need to take a break, take one. Just be sure to eventually come back. Zooming in, I realized I gave him a few extra hairs here unintentionally. So, with a soft brush, I change the value. With that, I'm cool on this one finished. So, I start this portrait with a quick sketch to get the gesture. Then I drop some horizontal lines on a new layer, so that I can more easily place her features. After I have the basics in place, I go in and start painting with shapes of color using the willow charcoal brush. As I'm putting down these colors, I'm trying to consider the lighting. To me it looks like she's being led from above on an overcast day. So, I'm noticing her skin and the light has a bluish quality to it, and her skin in the shadows has some warm oranges and greens. Also, she's in this very green environment. So, some of that green is bouncing into her shadows as well. You can see an imaginary line here. That's where I'm considering the general break from light to shadow. Now, I'm blurring everything out with a soft pastel brush, and now I'm working back into it. This piece was definitely a challenge for me, but I wanted to push through it. Because I think it's good for us to push through those challenging pieces because we'll come out better artists in the end. We learn through challenges and mistakes not just by doing the stuff we already know how to do over and over again. Now, I'm moving into Photoshop and I'm just smoothing out and adding a few more details. This piece really made me think about local colors. See how blue the quote unquote whites of her eyes are? So, always consider how the light source and the surroundings affect what you're painting. I really love these bright purple highlights on her lips. Color and light are really amazing and I'm looking forward to a lifelong art journey where I get to constantly explore both. I could probably come back to this piece and continue to tweak things, and perhaps lower the saturation of the background. But for now, I'm going to call this one finished. 15. Closing Thoughts: Thank you so much for joining this class. I can't wait to see your amazing pieces. So, please share your work and let me know if you have questions too. I think, it's important to remember that lighting is such a huge topic.There are literally endless combinations that could occur, with all the different incremental changes to skin tones, lighting angles, and all the different light sources out there, it can be a difficult topic to wrap our heads around. But, starting with these basic scenarios discussed in class, I think, will really take our work so far. Lighting is definitely an endless exploration. So, always continue to study. Study with other teachers teaching in a different way, study the masters, join a life drawing group, paint every day, even when you're watching movies, study the light. I found that through patient observation of the light around me, I'm able to pick up little tidbits about lighting. So, observe light and break it down in your everyday life. You can be practicing even when you don't have your art tools in front of you. A lot of learning this is experimenting with color and lighting, and having the guts to trying things, even when you don't know for sure if it'll work out. So, try a new lighting scenario and experiment with fun lighting effects too. I'm hoping this class shed a little light on the subject. Again, for class resources, you can find a link to those in the community section and in your project section. I would love to see you in my other art classes too. I have more courses on drawing portraits, characters, working with color, and working with Photoshop Illustrated as well. So, be sure to check those out if you're interested and follow along to stay up to date with my future classes. I'm so excited to share more of you all. Thank you so much again for joining. Until next time. Happy painting.