Can you help me paint a dusty, gloomy underground room?
Halle Burt, US
Answer Denman replies
As I quickly sketch out my perspective, I plan out how my directional light will play a part in the composition. With a dusty room, light almost becomes an object, because it’s caught up in all the dust particles that fill the air.
I quickly lay in my values and make sure I draw bright directional light values, from the opening in the ceiling to the spot where the light hits the ground.
I prefer to use a Photoshop textured brush when doing this, because it gives the air that distinctive dust-particle effect. Most importantly, when dealing with a dark environment that’s being lit by a singular strong source, it will create some fantastic bounced light.
For this scene the warmer sunlight reflects off the ground and then upwards to cast a warm light on the cool colours of the cavern interior.
The light in a dusty room becomes an obvious feature in any image. Your directional lines need to be parallel to each other, because the beams are travelling in the same direction. If objects lie in the shaft of light, their values are reduced. Objects that lie beyond the light almost get lost completely. Add textured brushstrokes to depict dusty air.