The Lighting Game
PLAY THE GAME Concept artist Izzy Medrano dares you to discover more about different lighting schemes with his colour scheme mashups
he Lighting Game is the 21st T in Izzy Medrano’s monthly series of online tutorials. It makes an interesting case study in how to use your passion and skills to reach an audience and generate income at the same time.
Izzy sells tutorials on Gumroad for $16 each. Once you decide you want to commit to the series, swing over to Patreon, where a $10-a-month pledge gets you access to all future instalments, plus other art goodies.
This video follows on from last month’s, when Izzy showed how to break down a lighting scheme in an existing image – but everything here is clear enough that you can follow the concepts. The ‘game’ of the title is Izzy’s dare to you: to make a series of studies where you take the shapes from one reference image, and apply the lighting scheme from another image to create a composite of both.
Izzy spends 20 minutes showing a set of his own studies, with concise explanations of the challenges each study presented. One, for example, takes a character from an outdoor environment with harsh sunlight and applies a flatter but strongly coloured lighting scheme from an indoors scene. The idea is that you’ll learn about light and colour if you take on a dozen or more of your own studies, using a variety of different sources.
For the remaining hour, Izzy makes one of these studies from scratch, using a couple of film stills. While this session offers advice in establishing your light and colour scheme, there’s an equal emphasis on using observation to paint a subject, rather than drawing the main forms first. This will prove as great a test for some artists as the primary lighting task, but is just as worthwhile to tackle.
There’s a lot of useful advice here, from overriding principles to bite-sized tips, but the greatest value will arrive when you accept Izzy’s challenge and play the Lighting Game yourself.
The idea of The Lighting Game is to apply a lighting scheme from one image to the character and setting in another to make your own hybrid. Izzy Medrano shows how making a series of studies can boost your understanding of light and colour. Izzy reveals the difficulty in completing this colour study was filling in the extra skin detail compared with the original image, which was much darker. Different photo pairings throw up challenges, such as how to adjust a lighting scheme to take a darker skin tone into account.