Dramatic Lighting Using Multiple Light Sources

Affect the mood of your drawing by using different colors of light reflections. When color rendering your artwork, it is easy to fall into the trap of rendering your subjects with only literal colors: Only red with an apple, water: blue or grass: green. Lights of all colors cast upon surfaces that we see and we can use different lights to a dramatic effect in our art. I’ve drawn Sarah and Jackie Bryant of the Virtua Fighter series and they will assist us on the journey.

A companion piece to Digitally Coloring Comics Like the Pros, we will go in-depth with step-by-step instructions and with advanced techniques in effects rendering with Photoshop 7. Methods shown can be applied in other versions as well. We will cover procedures for both the beginner and the advanced. The rundown of this tutorial is:

1. Scan the Line Art and Make Transparent
2. Block Out the Flats
3. Separate Dark/Light Tones
4. Add the Lighter Tones
5. Establish the Light Sources
6. Create the Selections to Airbrush the Reflected Light
7. Create an Ambient White Halo

There is nothing wrong with painting an apple red, but if a green neon light is shining beside it, there can be an entire shade of green cast on the side of it’s surface. The purpose of this tutorial is to get to the more advanced techniques of adding reflective light colors onto these surfaces.

Step 1: Scan the Line Art and Make Transparent

Once you have your ink drawing, scan it black and white with a resolution setting of 300dpi. This will allow for clean selections and will keep all the detail work you’ve done. Copy and paste the entire layer and set the layer option to multiply creating the transparency beneath the line art.

Step 2: Block Out the Flats

Create a separate layer beneath the line art for the flats. In traditional painting, a painter colors a base color for a section of the art where he or she will apply other colors on. The process is called “blocking out”. In Photoshop it also functions as color separations. This will allow you select a blocked out area and apply colors on another layer.

By Mark Rivera

Mark is an animator and ad designer for WebProNews. He has a passion for illustration and 3D art.

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