Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Painting with Light and Shadows

Use this tutorial to help you to creatively add depth to two-dimensional, flat images.
Use these steps to light up your artwork…

1) Try these steps on an image you are currently working on or any stock image you may have.
2) Press and hold down the ALT key + click the “Fill or Adjustment Layer” button   

3) In the “New Layer” window, name the layer and change the Mode to “Screen”.  Press OK.

4) Notice now that the image has now lightened up and the Adjustments tab is showing.

5) Next, fill the Layer Mask with black by selecting your Fill tool along with changing your color to black.  Now, fill the entire image.  Now notice two things that the image has become darker in tone and the Fill Layer has turned from white to black.

6) Now, we are going to duplicate the same steps again with some minor changes.  Again press and hold down the ALT key + click the “Fill or Adjustment Layer” button.  In the “New Layer” window, name the layer and change the Mode to “Multiply”.  Press OK.  You’ll now notice that the image has been darkened
7) Now, fill the screen again with black using the “Darken” layer.  Notice now that the image has lightened up and that both the Lighten and Darken Adjustment Layers appear black.    
8) Press “D” on the keyboard and the foreground color will change to white.  We’ll now paint on the image with the color white.
9) Next, we’ll need to select a very soft brush with low opacity.  After selecting the Brush tool or by pressing “b”.  Now, right-click on your image to modify your brush settings.  Change the “Master Diameter” to the desired level and then move the “Hardness” level all the way to the left or 0%.  In addition, lower the opacity to 50% or lower.

10) Now, start painting on the Lighten layer.  To increase the amount of light, either brush over the image multiple times or increase the opacity. 
11) To add shadows, select the Darken layer and paint with the brush. 
12) This image has had some light and shadows added to enhance colors.

13) Here is what the “Lighten” Adjustment Layer looks like.  To see this on your image, simply hold down the ALT key and click your black Adjustment Layer.

14) Finally, here is what the “Darken” Adjustment Layer looks like.  This gives you an idea of what shadows were added.

Using this technique to paint with colors is much like using the dodge and burn tools.  I like this method as a way of having more control of what I do.

Have fun and happy painting!

Frank Freeman is a freelance artist, trainer and CEO of Artistic Gurus, Inc. a training company that focuses on how-to videos in the 2D, 3D, Traditional Arts, Comics, Anime and Manga fields. http://www.artisticgurus.com/ or http://www.rentartvideos.com/

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