Please help me paint a vis­ually stun­ning sun­set!

ImagineFX - - Your Questions Answered... - An­swer An­dreas replies

The hu­man eye is nat­u­rally drawn to warm hues. You could com­pare yel­low to light, orange to fire and red to blood – all things es­sen­tial to our ex­is­tence as hu­man be­ings. If you as­so­ciate this to the “golden hour” when the sky as­sumes vi­brant red­dish hues for a brief pe­riod of time dur­ing sun­set (or sun­rise), the re­sult is the type of im­agery that’s pop­u­lar among artists and pho­tog­ra­phers.

When paint­ing sun­sets in Pho­to­shop I make heavy use of the Color Dodge colour blend­ing mode. The se­cret to mak­ing this colour mode work ef­fec­tively is to start with a dark muted base – the op­po­site of what we’re try­ing to achieve. The ef­fect is then built up slowly so you don’t over­sat­u­rate the scene too early on.

An­other im­por­tant as­pect to be aware of is what el­e­ments are in front of the sun­set. They’ll as­sume the same colours of the sky, and if they have a strong sil­hou­ette – such as a cas­tle – then this will add vis­ual in­ter­est.

The de­tail of the tower is most prom­i­nent around its edges, which is a nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring ef­fect of back-lit scenes.

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