Digital Painting – Composition, Lighting and Color – Part II: Making an image more interesting
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Digital Painting – Composition, Lighting and Color – Part II: Making an image more interesting

September 18, 2019


Hi guys! Welcome to another digital painting video. My name is Filipe Pinto and i am here once again to talk about Composition, Lighting and Color. Last video i asked for a lot of feedback from a lot of other people and a lot of them watched and they felt that it was… It was a bit vague… Truth is: Last video was more of an introduction to my videos, to my youtube channel, and to sort of give you an idea about the art style that i usually use my personal work, you know? The problem was that for last video I didn’t actually have anything prepared to say. And mid-way through it I found out that it’s actually a lot harder to speak my mind out than I expected Not only that but I was also pretty nervous… It was my first video (with voice-over)… And some people actually noticed that I was that nervous. My point is Although it was indeed just supposed to be an introduction, it still was a bit vague. I could have said a lot more about what I was doing on that painting and the truth is I could have talked about the techniques that I used for that painting the brushes, the colors… i mentioned those a bit, but I was really vague about it. I mentioned the difference between cool and warm colors but I just stood there, you know? Like I had no idea what to say (exactly) beyond that And not that I didn’t know what to say I just didn’t prepare myself for what I wanted to say, you know… Because there’s a difference between wanting to say something and actually know what you need to say so I prepared this video to just tackle the the same subjects once again but in a way that I’m hoping to be a bit more clear on on the things that i want to say. So, in this painting a day i actually started with the line sketch just like in the last video, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do… I knew I wanted to do a city but that was pretty much it. I didn’t know what what sort of city If it was sort of medieval fantasy like or just sci-fi or… Or something like that. But you can see even though i started with just medieval sort of ruins kind of style I ended up with this mix between fantasy and Star Wars (sci-fi) kind of city. But for this painting i really wanted to just focus on the design of the city and the truth is I have been practicing cities (buildings). Using different shapes, using different types of architecture and because of my my personal project… That’s the main reason. And I really wanted to try to do just another another city from afar but sort of in a different style I’ve done a painting of a futuristic city I’ll leave the the link in the description if you’re interested But I did it and not very long ago but it was it was pretty futuristic and I wanted to try something a bit different a little bit more fantasy but still futuristic, you know what I mean? So, yeah! At this point most of what I did was just trying to adjust all the colors as a composition of the whole painting to set it in the mood and in this case a really huge futuristic fantasy-like city in the middle of the desert and in a way to also also show a few of the locals, you know? To sort of make it a bit populated… That’s why I put these two guys on the foreground along with a few huts (?), I guess metal huts or shacks, I don’t know (laugh) something like that… These foreground elements help a lot with that specific need to make it populated, because it’s really important to sort of give life to your Environments. In my case I tend to do this a lot in the bad way which, basically, sort build the whole environment, design it properly, I make a good Composition I give it good colors and good shapes but then I tend to just not make it really that interesting you know because nothing’s happening in it! There’s no one. It’s just empty. An empty space with some really tall buildings or something like that… And even even some really good artists some times to make this mistake which is basically not populate your own world. If you’re creating a World it’s really important to sort of show a bit of the life in it. that’s exactly why right now you see me painting sort of this light on the on the city because just giving some lights to the city it helps make it feel like there’s someone there living or just walking around and to be honest I wasn’t really happy with the colors so far either so, that’s also why I I wanted to give it something more interesting to look at. Something more colorful. And this is something that I’ve also found that is actually important for a painting, which is sometimes you design the world so well in you have this perspective (way of seeing) on the way atmospheric perspective works… you know that with a certain HUE of atmosphere the whole painting will be affected by it and sometimes just knowing that, that specific fact, you end up actually designing something or painting something with only a few tones of the same color. And sometimes it gets really monotonous and adding just a tiny bit of color (of a different color) and saturated color sometimes it really helps to make something a bit more interesting and that’s sort of what I tried to do with the lights on the city. I wanted to make the world populated and in the same time sort of make it feel more interesting overall so at this point I have pretty much all the colors and all the shapes, all the architecture and the mood I want defined so I start to refine a bit of the details especially on the city which is my focal point and give it a bit more detail. Later on I try to give it a bit more contrast still (right now) if you look at it (the city) It’s still looking like it’s just two or three colors you know two or three tones… the light being cast on it by the sun the lights on the city are just one tone with a bit of glow and reflection, but there’s not really much that into it and later on i try to… I notice that and I try to give it a bit more interest like puting these three different tones in the lights of the city because even now although it looks a bit more interesting (with the lights) it’s still kinda dull and that’s because the light is really really similar in terms of VALUE. If you look at the values of the city and the light coming from it (I have actually checked the values here) If you look at those values you can see that they’re really close to each other. The city itself and the lights coming from it have almost identical values… and LIGHT in value doesn’t really work that way. Usually light is really really bright like for example you can see in the building in the background you have this sort of rim light on their edges. Basically they’re really really bright and you can really see the distinction between those rim lights and the structures themselves and that not only that helps see that shape better it also makes you feel the light you know and that’s what I wanted to do with the city. That’s why later on I actually put some brighter tones in it. To make it, not only better in terms of value , but also more interesting which is something really important! So, always always try to check your values as constantly as possible. That’s actually a mistake that I did do when i tried to put these lights on the city. ln a way that’s because I wasn’t really going to. It was just an idea that came while i was doing the painting but yeah! You should always try to check your values right from the start because light is really really important and, if you think about light right at the start of a painting, you not only you will be faster in doing that painting but your fundamentals will be pretty much always right because light defines the shapes of things, defines how the mood is Defines your atmospheric perspective. So… think about that right from the start. So, right now, I’m just in the last stages of detailing and making everything look a little bit more crispier and more edgy. More (well-)defined. Everything sort of looks like I wanted it to be but my focal point is not yet really well defined I wanted to make the edges more edy, More sharp. And even in the final stages of the painting I end up even adding a filter of sharpen (Filter->Sharpen) because I really wanted to make the image crispier But yes right now I’m in the last stages of detailing… The whole thing is pretty much defined and the funny thing is that after i actually stopped detailing everything and sort of had exactly what I wanted I showed this on my facebook page and at work and a few friends gave me some feedback and my Art Lead actually gave me some advice and some feedback about the the work I had just done (It was it was exactly one of the major topics of this video) (which was basically how populate and how to make an illustration more interesting) And one of those things was that the characters on the foreground, they look just pretty much still. They were just standing there looking at the at the city which is not a bad thing in terms of Composition because it sort of helps you steer your eyes towards the painting and look at your focal point and, in this case it was the city and they were looking at the city so it made sense, but the truth is the city was already with so much contrast and there’s already so many imaginary lines guiding you’re eye towards that city that the first thing you actually end up seeing when you first look at the image is the city itself and you don’t really look at the other things in the painting I mean, you sort of get the hint that they exist but you don’t look through it (the painting) because the city is the only thing calling your attention, so he gives me this idea of putting at least one of those of those guys in the foreground to just instead of being standing there sort of make them doing something…. He gave me a couple ideas and one of them was to sort of instead of having him standing beside his bike he was actually sitting* on it, riding it towards the city, would be a lot more interesting and I actually ended up later changing the painting and making that change and I have to say it was a really really nice feedback and this is something that also improves your final product, your final artwork which is: get constant feedback! Ask your friends, ask your family Ask other artists and specially artists to give some feedback on on your work and it helps a lot. Ever since I started working at my company… I never actually had constructive feedback from someone else I allways had those comments and those negative critics but never actually constructive feedback about what I should or should not doand why. But ever since I started working at the company I actually had it and I can really see how that changes the way the way you look at something and it helps a lot so get constant feedback! Makes everything a lot easier and once again having something happening in the illustration, in your final concept, also helps the image it be a little bit more interesting so… don’t just put something there standing still looking at something. It’s not really that interesting. Alright guys thank you so much for watching up until now! I really hope these hints help you and your artwork somehow I’m not exactly (and obviously) a master at this, but I seriously hope that the few knowledge I have on these subjects give you something to think about maybe even something to improve upon your own artwork. I honestly hope I’ve done a better job with this video than I did last time. Last video was really vague and I wanted to convey things clearly so I really hope I was able to do that with this video… It was still a bit hard for me to talk this much to be honest, but i really hope i can improve on that and maybe even become better at this for the next videos. so yeah thank you thank you so much for watching leave me your comments below! I really want to know what you think about (this video) and feel free to follow me on social media like Facebook… I have a Facebook page. Follow me on that or even ArtStation. i usually post my sketches and my artwork there so yeah… thank you so much for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe to keep track of the videos, I hope you have enjoyed!

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  1. Thank you for this video! It inspired me to learn more about painting in Photoshop. And you have so nice voice, very comfortable to listen.

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