Colour tricks in Pho­to­shop

Belinda Le­ung demon­strates how to paint with muted colours to cre­ate a fes­ti­val scene tinged with nos­tal­gia, fea­tur­ing Hong Kong’s Lion Dancers

ImagineFX - - Issue 142 Christmas 2016 -

See how Belinda Le­ung cre­ates a fes­ti­val scene.

This im­age is part of an on­go­ing per­sonal project called Hong Kong He­roes. Its pur­pose is to cel­e­brate the un­sung he­roes of Hong Kong cul­ture, many of whom are dis­ap­pear­ing or pos­si­bly no longer ex­ist as I re­mem­ber them.

For this project I’ve ex­per­i­mented with ways of tak­ing greyscale com­po­si­tional sketches into full colour to rep­re­sent this city of vi­brancy and high con­trast. Know­ing your in­ten­tions be­fore start­ing a project is a good way to main­tain con­sis­tency, and here I want to in­voke a sense of nos­tal­gia in the viewer, rep­re­sented by the muted colour.

Be­cause they’re per­sonal icons, drawn from my teenage mem­o­ries, a lot of re­search is re­quired be­fore start­ing each im­age and all man­ner of things can dis­tract you from your ini­tial in­tent. Be­ing se­lec­tive with your ref­er­ence and hav­ing a good idea of what the ba­sic pal­ette will be is a good way to keep ev­ery­thing on track.

This im­age fea­tures lion dancers who per­form dur­ing fes­ti­vals and cel­e­bra­tions. These fes­ti­vals are a hive of chaotic ac­tiv­ity, but since the ob­jec­tive for this project is to put the char­ac­ters cen­tre stage, I chose to fo­cus on the dancers’ faces, fram­ing them in ar­eas of calm among the chaos to show their con­cen­tra­tion and fo­cus.

For this im­age I’ve made use of var­i­ous Pho­to­shop tech­niques to cre­ate a piece that’s both colour­ful and har­mo­nious.

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