15 Play with con­trast

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Workshops -

An­other trick that works very well is to add con­trast to the com­po­si­tion. I achieve this by ad­just­ing the light­ing, play­ing with com­ple­men­tary colours, or us­ing warm and cold hues. The trick is to sep­a­rate the char­ac­ter from the back­ground. My favourite ap­proach is to use a very dark back­ground and an un­usual light source to il­lu­mi­nate the char­ac­ter. The light cap­tures the viewer’s ini­tial at­ten­tion, who then moves on to my char­ac­ter por­trait.

Adding some of the back­ground colour to the char­ac­ter helps to bet­ter in­te­grate the fore­ground and the back­ground. The shiny golden head­dress breaks up the huge amount of shad­ows on the top part of the com­po­si­tion. To in­crease the con­trast, I of­ten leave some parts of my char­ac­ters in the shad­ows.

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