Paint a majestic underwater city
Take to the ocean depths with Raphael Lacoste, who reveals how he uses light and atmospheric perspective to create a moody fantasy scene
Dive into Raphael Lacoste’s environment workshop.
The aim of this workshop is to explain how I go about creating an interesting architectural composition set in an usual landscape – or seascape! By the end of it I hope to have produced a memorable image of a fantasy setting – depicting a moment that could be taken from a movie or video game.
You need to have an eye for a good composition and a particular interest in environment design, if you’re to turn a simple sketch into a detailed image. Key points in the creative process include using contrasting shapes, applying the golden rules of composition such as the Rule of Thirds, and utilising an interesting colour palette. Don’t underestimate the importance of your early sketches. They’ll help you identify strong and weak compositional elements, and which colours are working or not.
Your checklist should include the following: an interesting topic; a good balance of shapes, proportions and contrasts in the volumes; and inspiring references. The latter can be photos, the work of other painters, or even masterpieces that you see in museums. I prefer to use my personal photo database as much as possible to avoid copyright issues, but if you’re looking at references purely for mood ideas, then the world is pretty much your oyster. Watching films is also a great way to pick up lighting and mood ideas.
Tackling the details is part of the painting process, but in my experience it’s not key to the creation of a realisticlooking scene. Instead, I’d say get the basics right and the small stuff will follow. So have fun and enjoy this workshop!