Create an interesting light for your forest
1 I start with a basic green landscape, just focusing on the composition and giving the right luminosity to each part: the background ( 1), middle (2) and foreground (3). I imagine that it’s a cloudy day, which means that little light will reach the floor of your landscape. Everything becomes pale and unsaturated. 2 In this shot, all the colours are relatively unsaturated – it’s what I’m aiming for now. Try to use middle and dark tones to paint your mid- and foreground without getting lost in depicting any details. Once I’m happy with the result, I create a new layer and select where the light comes from. 3 Be careful when setting the highlight, because it’ll grab a lot of attention. Choose interesting places and don’t have too many of them, because your composition may lose visual interest. Note that a leaf is translucent when light reaches them directly. Its upside gets highlighted while its back will show a saturated colour.