How can I paint a glowing moon behind the wing of a flying monster?
Sue Age, England
For this question, I imagine the wing of a bat. The bat’s arm and elongated fingers run along the length of the wing, and these are solid areas that light won’t penetrate. In contrast, any strong light source behind the wing’s thin membrane will be noticeable.
To help me achieve a realistic effect, I’ll make use of Photoshop’s layer styles and Opacity settings. I start by painting a bright circular moon, and then create a realisticlooking glow effect using Gaussian Blur, before adjusting the Opacity. Using multiple layers enables me to recreate the fading effect of the glow in the night sky.
Next it’s just a matter of showing moonlight through the bat’s wings. This is achieved by the logical use of layers – bearing in mind the bat’s arm and fingers, which will block the moon’s glow. As a finishing touch, I take into account how the membrane affects the light’s quality.