Artist Q&A

How to paint wings, smoke, por­traits, drama and more!

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents - An­ton Gil­roy, US

An­swer

Paco replies

The first thing that you should bear in mind when tack­ling this sub­ject is that even the translu­cent mat­ter that makes up th­ese wings is still go­ing to be af­fected by the light­ing in the scene to some de­gree. A translu­cent or trans­par­ent ob­ject can ex­pe­ri­ence spec­u­lar high­lights, and the place­ment of those high­lights vary depend­ing on the po­si­tion of the viewer.

For ex­am­ple, if you’re walk­ing out­side on a sunny day and you no­tice some­one wear­ing sun­glasses, you’ll see spec­u­lar re­flec­tions on the lens. If you’re the one who’s wear­ing the sun­glasses then you won’t no­tice any re­flec­tion on the lens of your glasses, be­cause the re­flec­tions are on the out­side.

The same prin­ci­ple works here. If you paint the side of a wing fac­ing the main light source, you should paint some spec­u­lar high­lights, even if this means los­ing some trans­parency. When paint­ing the side of the wing that’s away from the light, you can ig­nore the high­lights and fo­cus on cre­at­ing the trans­parency ef­fect.

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