Step-by-step:

Cre­at­ing an­gelic back­light

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation Artist Q & A | Your questions answe -

1Here’s my ba­sic line drawing and colour­ing. I’ve scanned in my pen­cils and used dig­i­tal wa­ter­colour brushes. The value range isn’t yet all the way up to the white point: I want to have some­where to dial things up to! I’ve also dark­ened around the edges of her hair, which is mostly where I’ll be us­ing the colour corona ef­fect later on in my paint­ing process.

2I use a big grainy brush to spray in light be­hind the girl’s head, and then on a sep­a­rate layer set to Over­lay, I em­ploy the same brush to dust light around the edges of her form. The end re­sult is called colour corona, and gives a sense of bright­ness to the fig­ure. I’m still not up to pure white yet, but al­ready the feel­ing of the im­age has changed for the bet­ter.

3This stage shows just the ap­pli­ca­tion of the edge light layer. Don’t out­line ev­ery­thing evenly, but in­stead think about where a light source be­hind the fig­ure will break through most. I hit those ar­eas with a bit of air­brushed glow. You can see that even this ef­fect alone can be ef­fec­tive and dra­matic. The edg­ing can be pure white here if you want.

4Here are all the ef­fects com­bined, along with added cre­pus­cu­lar rays, but with the colour lay­ers turned off. It’s clear that this type of light­ing can also work in­de­pen­dently of colour, and can be ap­plied to toned draw­ings or manga styles equally ef­fec­tively. I’m al­ways a bit wary of cre­pus­cu­lar rays, but with care­ful treat­ment they can work very well.

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