Strong pose and silhouette
Pascal Campion quickly illustrates a scene with a range of characters, lighting and a key focal point
See how Pascal Campion brings together characters, lighting and a focal point.
With this workshop I want to paint a romantic encounter between two characters, and place them in a scene with a strong narrative. The idea is to capture a moment that’s part of a bigger story.
I’m going to control the viewer’s visual read of the composition through the use of focal points, and create a backdrop of characters who will reinforce the sense of realism and add some context to the story.
One key element that suggests emotion is lighting, so to generate mood and anchor the moment in a specific time and place, I’m going to light the scene to reinforce the bond between the characters. By doing so I’ll be building a world that lives outside of the frame of the image. In turn, this gives the viewer the sense that the world they’re looking at has its own timeline. Events have been taking place in this world before the moment captured on the canvas, and will be happening after this point, too.
I believe if an artist can convey the sense of passage of time in a composition, then they’ll have a narrative that works in space and time. This is the foundation of any type of storytelling exercise.
Finally, we’ll talk about how colour affects the perception of a story. It’s comparable to how the tone of your voice is just as important as the words you’re saying. Okay, let’s get started.
Setting up the file
I open Photoshop and create a new image that’s 50x30.5cm with a resolution of 450dpi. I’ll mostly be using a Round default brush for this piece, but set Scatter to 28 per cent and make use of the Jitter options. I set the mode of my pencil to Dissolve rather than leaving it on Normal.
I use Photoshop’s Polygon tool to create a two-point perspective grid. I set the size to one pt and the number of sides to 99. I create two vanishing points and place them on the same horizontal level, and then put them on each side of the frame, but crucially outside the edges of the canvas.