Paint a stun­ning stained glass en­vi­ron­ment

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The beauty of dig­i­tal art is that there are many ap­proaches you can take to paint­ing a scene, es­pe­cially when it comes to en­hanc­ing am­bi­ence lev­els and cre­at­ing at­mos­phere. The ease at which you’re able to draw per­pen­dic­u­lar or par­al­lel lines, just by hold­ing down Shift, makes it pos­si­ble to cre­ate com­plex per­spec­tive scenes rel­a­tively easily. This means you can con­cen­trate on de­vel­op­ing the feel­ing of the scene. There are many 3D pro­grams you can use to cre­ate lo­ca­tions, but for an il­lus­tra­tor it’s vi­tal to be fa­mil­iar with the fun­da­men­tals of per­spec­tive. That said, paint­ing a scene in a cathe­dral be­comes much eas­ier if you ap­ply some tricks. In this work­shop I’ll share some of mine.

I start by study­ing the sub­ject. Thomas Becket was the arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury and lord chan­cel­lor, and was mur­dered in Can­ter­bury cathe­dral in 1170. This was the me­dieval pe­riod and the Gothic ar­chi­tec­ture style was com­mon­place through­out Europe. In 1174 the cathe­dral was dam­aged by fire, and some parts were re­placed. For this rea­son I’ll only be us­ing the cathe­dral as a gen­eral ref­er­ence source for my en­vi­ron­ment.

There are a lot of me­dieval minia­ture mod­els avail­able that de­pict the mur­der of Thomas Becket. I like the idea of us­ing those minia­tures as ref­er­ences, pos­ing Thomas in front of the al­tar as he’s about to be at­tacked from be­hind.

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