Colours that glow.
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    Colours that glow.

    Hi. I tried searching the forum, but nothing quite matched what I was looking for, so I guess I'll just ask:
    this picture is coloured mostly with flats, and I think I detect a couple of gradients in there too, but it still seems to emit some kind of glow. Now my question is, what makes colours fit together like this, how can I combine colours to get this kind of effect?
    I know it might be a broad question, but I really have no idea how this illustration works

    (picture by emmy cicierega: b1nd1.deviantart.com)

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    dpaint is offline Registered User Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    Learn to control your values, hues and saturation

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    This is an extremely good question Cachette, and I am suprised not to have seen it put before, or rather, seen it put as well as you have framed it.

    It's to do with the way that colours behave when they are placed next to each other. To be a bit more technical about it, it's to do with affinities between value, croma and shape.
    In fact the effect that one colour has upon another when placed side by side is maximised when the colours are flatter (less textured) and this effect is in fact diminished when the colours are gradated or textured.

    It has nothing to do with 'light effects' - the beautiful painting you attached does not 'glow' because of the the inference of the open window but because of its use of the colour principles I have mentioned above. To show you what I mean by this they can be seen working here in a completely different setting in these pictures by my teacher, Euan Uglow:

    Ironic he should be called u-glow isn't it!

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    Last edited by Chris Bennett; February 23rd, 2011 at 05:33 PM.
    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/
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    Contrast - very light values next to dark values
    Chroma/Hue - complementary colors of the same value will appear to vibrate when placed next to each other
    Edges - ambiguous transition from the glow source to the surroundings helps sell the look. in other words, the edges around the light or whatever should be kind of blurry.

    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."
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    Colours that have higher "brilliance" (more or less, = HSB "Brightness") appear to glow against colours of lower brilliance:

    http://www.huevaluechroma.com/103.php

    In an image, whether this is seen as luminous local colour or a pool of light depends on which interpretation is more likely. If a number of adjacent colours are boosted, compared to surrounding colours, by a tolerably consistent amount, then the latter interpretation wll result:

    http://www.huevaluechroma.com/102.php

    (That isn't done very consistently in your image, but close enough for jazz I guess).

    These abstract colour relationships are assisted here by some emulation of effects of light, specifically some light reflected into the shadowed pillow and face area, and some not-that-effective irradiation around the window.

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    I've always been fascinated by this picture because of its "glow".



    Last edited by manlybrian; February 24th, 2011 at 02:34 PM. Reason: grammar.
    My Sketchbook

    And then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness and our image. Let us make him ridiculously hard to draw so that poor artists everywhere will have to spend 10,000+ hours failing repeatedly before they can begin to capture the form and likeness onto a two-dimensional surface." And there was man. And it was good. And artists everywhere lost their minds.
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    Wow, that's all really helpful! Thanks, guys! I think I kinda understand
    Also, your teacher makes lovely pictures, chris bennett. (and his name is kind of a funny coincidence )

    Manlybrian: I really like that picture too. The lighting seems just like the lighting in an old house would be: full of dust in the air. It's as if you can just feel how dusty it is.

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    If you want to make something look bright, surround it with darker areas.
    If you want to make something look saturated, surround it with desaturated areas.

    It's really that simple, basically. Ofcourse, you could easily write books that go in depth about these things.

    Briggsy's site is one you should definatly give a read.

    The lighting seems just like the lighting in an old house would be: full of dust in the air. It's as if you can just feel how dusty it is.
    That's because light reflects off the dust particles in the air.

    There are generally two types of 'glow'.
    One is like in the image, where light bounces and scatters of particles in the atmosphere.
    The other is occular glare (occular = having to do with the eye).
    Where a lightsource emits so much light that the area around it appears to glow.
    This happens inside our eyes and has to do with the way our lenses and retina handle lights and overexposure.
    This is usually apparent on lightsources, such as streetlamps at night or on bright specular highlights.
    Another interesting thing about it, is that it does not scale with perspective such as atmospherical lights would.

    Say it's dark and misty, and you have a streetlight, you'll probably encounter both at the same time. You can see which is which by moving your hand before it.
    The glare should shrink and fade by how much of the light source surface you have blocked. The atmospheric glare will persist.

    Another important part of it is indirect light and shadow. Indirect light and shadows will give form to otherwise flat lit objects, most apparent in the direct shadows (the regions that are not hit by the first light bounce). When light hits a colored surface and bounce back onto a surface of the same color that surface will become more highly saturated.

    Also, the facetting, material type (dielectric vs conductive etc) and diffuse interreflection on surfaces can cause different kinds of light and material perception, which can influence the perception of the 'glow'.

    Last edited by PieterV; March 5th, 2011 at 01:40 PM. Reason: adding glare descriptions etc
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    Hmmm! Good topic, and very interesting info, most of which I didn't even know! o_o

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    @PieterV Throw in a few example images and you'll have yourself a nice tutorial there!

    My Sketchbook

    And then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness and our image. Let us make him ridiculously hard to draw so that poor artists everywhere will have to spend 10,000+ hours failing repeatedly before they can begin to capture the form and likeness onto a two-dimensional surface." And there was man. And it was good. And artists everywhere lost their minds.
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