Step-by-step: Block­ing in your light sources

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The sky is my main light source. It’ll af­fect the whole light­ing scheme, the over­all colour scheme and mood of the scene that I’m paint­ing. I want to use only one light source and so I imag­ine a scene af­ter sun­set, which leaves the fore­ground with­out al­most any nat­u­ral light.


I darken the en­vi­ron­ment us­ing a Lev­els ad­just­ment layer and add a mid­tone or­ange colour on an Over­lay layer. Then I in­tro­duce my fire on a Screen layer to the scene and erase back the layer mask on the Ad­just­ment layer at the sur­faces, where the light af­fects the en­vi­ron­ment.


I cre­ate an ex­tra one-point per­spec­tive grid, where the mid-point meets my light source (the fire). This helps to see how the fire af­fects its sur­round­ing and what di­rec­tion the fire­light takes. This en­ables me to paint ac­cu­rate cast shad­ows on the ground, caused by the added rub­ble.

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