Lighting and Environment

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Lighting and Environment

I’ve been wanting to do a new blog post based on my latest illustration for a while but I have had life things to do like a wedding and an animation course but now I have time. Hooraaay!

I have had this illustration idea in my head for a while. A fairytale fantasy setting with 2 mystical creatures walking through a forest. One was a parent holding hand with their child. It was only when I started to actually draw it out that I add a bit more to it.

I wanted the image to tell a story and have the viewer get a warm fuzzy feeling in their tummy when they looked at it. Instead of having the creatures just walking I wanted the child character to be tugging on their parent’s hand as they look at the mystical flying creatures in the background. I wanted questions to be raised in the viewers mind like ‘where are they going?’, ‘is that their house?’, ‘what are those creatures doing in the background?’.

I made the expression on the parent’s face to read as kind and loving as they peered back at their child who is being curious and excitable as a typical child would be. Something that most parents can relate to I’m sure.

For the palette I went for subtle pastel colours with lots of greens and browns but not with too much contrast and instead easy on the eye. I made the characters a unique yellow that doesn’t appear anywhere else in the image so that they stand out a bit more.

I spent quite a lot of time developing the environment just because I haven’t had a huge amount of experience creating environments. Another aspect I wanted to improve upon was lighting. The main focus of this piece are the creatures in the background so I made them more central and made them glow. I adds an element of mystery because you can’t see the details of their faces but their silhouette is clear. I like to think they are taking part in a mating ritual. I had the light source come mainly from this point and had rays of sunlight emerge from the canopy above as if it were a spotlight drawing attention to the focus of the illustration.

I still have a long way to go in terms of designing backgrounds and lighting techniques but not a bad start. I also wanted it to look like light was coming through the leaves of the trees and landing on the characters.

There is this amazing website I want to mention quickly which is It has a huge and amazing free library of videos based on painting in Photoshop and more. I went through some of those to improve my painting. I also decided not to do heavy ink line like my last drawing of the dragon. The only ink lines are the thin coloured ones on the character.

I really had fun with this piece. Will have to do another like it again soon. GOODBYE!


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