Generate volume and depth easily
Svetlana Tigai renders a semi-realistic portrait using light and shadows to develop volume and depth, before making the move to colour
Svetlana Tigai renders a portrait using light and shadows, before making the move to colour.
Sometimes I paint in black and white. It’s a great chance to work with light and shadow, and is a good technique for learner digital artists to grasp, as they practise depicting volume and depth using only shades of grey.
Before I start drawing, I think not only about the composition, but also about the setting. Beautiful portraits are improved if they have a story behind them. I want to make sense to all of my pictures. That’s the way I express myself – the way that I communicate with my audience. It’s not easy to tell a story without a detailed background. I like to draw portraits with the hands, because hands, like the eyes, can also speak. So if you want to draw an interesting portrait, don’t ignore important things such as the pose. The colour palette also plays an important role, because it creates the atmosphere of the painting; it emphasises and enhances the mood. For example, blue doesn’t always mean a cold or sad mood, yellow doesn’t always mean joy and fun. In the context of a story, sometimes a warm palette can add a sense of mystery.
In this workshop I’ll draw a pale girl with very blonde hair in a white dress on a light background, and I’m going to show you how to achieve volume at low contrast. We’ll end up with a very gentle and rather mysterious effect. I’ll also show you how to colour a black and white picture using gradient maps.