Lighting help

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Thread: Lighting help

  1. #1
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    Lighting help

    This is a final for a painting class I'm taking. I have until Friday to finish it. The prompt was really anything you want as long as it was "painterly". I also decided to kill 2 birds in one stone and draw a fan character my brother really likes and wanted me to draw for quite some time. Her name is Marisa and she's from this franchise called Touhou.

    I'm doing this from imagination and I think I probably bit off more than I can chew. It's supposed to be more stylized because the subject character is usually drawn in an anime/manga style and I guess I wanted to emulate that.

    I've been trying to find backlighting but I can't seem to find a good reference picture. I'm also not sure what light the face does when it's hit by a backlight. I'm aware that it's supposed to be quite dark, which can be fixed later, but I want the frontal features to stand out as well so I'm pretty conflicted as to where this will go.

    I also need a LOT of help on how to paint clothes and folds. How do you texture them so that they are clothes textured and not skin or hair textured? Or is it more of an issue with how the light hits it rather than texture?

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toriknew View Post
    I'm also not sure what light the face does when it's hit by a backlight. I'm aware that it's supposed to be quite dark, which can be fixed later, but I want the frontal features to stand out as well so I'm pretty conflicted as to where this will go.
    Well honestly in this image none of the backlight would ever hit the face, since the hair and the hat would block it all. If you want the face to be visible, you should have taken this into consideration while doing your thumbnails and planning the image (like adding a lantern to light her face, or design the shadows so that there's this eerie light reflection/dramatic light cast on her eyes) and get proper refs for this from the start (a lamp, hat, dim room and a friend with camera should not be impossible to get). Also search for proper refs to see and study what the texture on the clothes look like. Sometimes there just isn't a "way X" to do it, and it's up to you and your skill. In any case, right now nothing in the figure is lit consistently, and even if you're stylizing it doesn't mean you should do it all from imagination.
    For backlight, there's couple posts by James Gurney you might be interested of:
    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.fi/201...nd-contre.html
    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.fi/200...-lighting.html

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  5. #3
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    Well I wouldn't say that lighting is your lacking in this piece. In fact, if you left it as it is, it would look fine, once you put in some rim lights. But to answer your lighting question, yes you just leave the figure in the dark, and rim light her form the moon. The moon isn't nearly bright enough to actually cause the figure to be abnormally darkened so just leave her ambiently lit with those rim lights.

    But the image is entirely boring. Her hair and hat aren't reacting to flying through the air. And her pose is definitely not congruent with flying through the air. Should I assume her non-expression is part of her character? Even so, should she really be looking right at the viewer?

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    Ah oh, I see that I'm completely off with the face. Oops. Thanks for the refs Tinybird.

    She's floating in the air. It's a bit of an accusatory look? There's not that much context as to why she's accusatory so it'll probably send mixed messages. How do you think she should look?

    I did a quick adjustment. I still haven't adjusted the nuances, but is this what the general look should be?

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    Last edited by Toriknew; June 7th, 2012 at 08:16 AM.
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    Again, remember that the brim of her hat will block the light behind the hair. Also I myself can't see the accusatory look, as she's not looking anywhere (her eyes are not focused) and she looks like she's half-asleep. Also I agree with Artfix about the pose, how is she holding on the broom? Her hands don't look like they're holding or gripping the broom (in fact they look more like you're deliberately avoiding drawing the hands and blurring them behind her dress) and she's sitting so on the "brim" of the broom that I'd think her feet would prove weighty enough to pull her down. And if there is some sort of levitation magic going on that excuses the pose, then show it. Also is the character wearing white lipstick?

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    So I adjusted the broom so it was more parallel to the sitting position, and that actually cleared enough room so I could put in hands (before I was at a loss on where to put them without making the arm extremely long or extremely short). I tried a more aggressive expression as well, and fixed the rim shade.

    On another note, how light do you think the feet should be? Is it blocked by the dress, or is there still moonlight on it?

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