Ques­tion Help me paint a re­flec­tion in a win­dow

Christina Baer, Ger­many

ImagineFX - - Imaginenation Artist Q&a -

An­swer Sara replies

Dig­i­tal paint­ing tech­niques make it pos­si­ble to de­pict re­flec­tions in glass in a rel­a­tively straight­for­ward man­ner. Cer­tainly, it’s much less la­bo­ri­ous than tak­ing the tra­di­tional me­dia ap­proach. And it’s all down to the use of lay­ers.

When paint­ing the re­flec­tion of a per­son in a win­dow, re­mem­ber that it’s not a mir­ror, which pro­duces a sharp, well-de­fined im­age. A win­dow works dif­fer­ently be­cause of the trans­par­ent na­ture of glass. As such, a dark back­ground on the other side of the win­dow is what makes the re­flec­tion pos­si­ble in the first place. Some as­pects of the back­ground will emerge in the re­flec­tion as part of the im­age, and so it’s im­por­tant not to overdo the trans­parency ef­fect. I keep in mind that glass is a glossy sur­face, but also frag­ile. El­e­ments such as dirt, ero­sion and cracks will give it an even more re­al­is­tic look.

I be­gin by lay­ing down the sketch, start­ing with the en­vi­ron­ment, which I paint on the glass sur­face.

In the fin­ished art­work we can see how the can­dle’s red light is pre­dom­i­nant in the glass re­flec­tion.

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