Master light in Pho­to­shop

Takes you through his process for cre­at­ing an at­mo­spheric character il­lus­tra­tion, with the em­pha­sis on how light plays in the scene

ImagineFX - - Issue 116 Christmas 2014 -

Olly Law­son cre­ates an at­mo­spheric character.

ight is at the heart of ev­ery pic­ture, so it’s in our best in­ter­ests to try and un­der­stand it. Tame it to do your bid­ding and you’re well on the way to cre­at­ing a suc­cess­ful il­lus­tra­tion.

I like to paint what­ever’s float­ing my boat, and hav­ing played a lot of chess lately I’ve de­cided to play with some of its more fa­mous tropes to cre­ate some­thing en­gag­ing. I’m very en­thu­si­as­tic about the idea of out­side in­ter­ests af­fect­ing one’s

Lart. I feel the least in­spired when sit­ting at my work desk, which can ob­vi­ously lead to some prob­lems. Tak­ing walks, trav­el­ling, read­ing books and other ‘ dis­trac­tions’ like a game of chess all help to gen­er­ate ideas for my pic­tures, and this work­shop draws on all of th­ese

I was sketch­ing out ideas for what to paint for a work­shop, when my good friend and il­lus­tra­tor Con­nor Adams sug­gested we play chess. Of course I gave into this dis­trac­tion, but I re­alised mid- game that if I’m more in­ter­ested in play­ing chess than paint­ing, why not mix up th­ese pas­sions and use chess in the pic­ture? Sud­denly I re­alised plenty of scenes to paint, and com­menced the il­lus­tra­tion with a strong idea in mind.

I find my best pic­tures work out when I can first vi­su­alise the idea, es­pe­cially when the idea is one that seems both orig­i­nal and chal­leng­ing to me. How do you bring ex­cite­ment to an idea of a girl play­ing chess?

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