I’d like some help placing a strong white light source in my art
Freckle Johnson, Spain
You’ll need to keep a few things in mind, if your composition is going to feature a correctly depicted bright light source. First, the colour of the light will affect the colours throughout the scene – even, perhaps surprisingly, the shadows.
The introduction of a white source of light means that the hue values will be pure and saturated, just as they would be in bright sunlight. It’s for this reason that neon lights are regularly used in art schools: they have a minimal effect on colours, compared to other sources of artificial lights.
I choose a very pale blue for the light’s actual colour. This will enhance the shiny appearance of the elements in my composition, such as the silk dress, the sword hilt and the character’s hair.
Next, I consider that a strong light casts very dark shadows. I subsequently take care over the placement of the light source, so that the cast shadows will help me to better define the shapes in my scene. Indeed, painting these shadows correctly means that even the most outlandish of fantasy characters will have an air of credibility about them.