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In this mini-guide, I’m going to more or less explain how the heck you apply basic light theory on your art. But with a bit more exaggerated effects.
I am going to start off by using a reference photo I took myself in a museum I visited the other day.
This is a piece of Pyrite (aka “Fool’s Gold”) which is very reflective, and is pretty cool.
I used this as a reference and eye-ball copied it. Since most of the colors are pretty saturated, it wasn’t that hard to guess the colors. (I did not color pick from the photo - unless you are colorblind, you should learn to pick color only by observation. It’s good for your artistic eye.)
Here’s my painting of the pyrite. It’s not as textured or detailed as the reference, but turned out good enough. The orange light comes from a piece of table/wood beneath the pyrite that is not visible from the photo.
The shape of the object is a nice variation from the regular “sphere” that you always see in light-theory.
Now let’s apply there light sources on a portrait - makin it shiny shiny!
But first we should look up another reference!
This picture was done by the AMAZING Virtual Lighting Tool where you can add several light sources, change the placement of the “lamps”, even add colors and all kind of nice gadgets. This screenshot contains more or less the same lightsources that we got from the Pyrite painting.
Now this time I did use the color picker - but not from the photograph, but from the painting I did earlier. This was a really fun experiment and a great way to practice shiny objects.
One of the biggest challenges a beginning painter will face is learning to paint flesh tones. The skin is highly complex, made up of varying colors and textures; if you get one thing wrong, you could end up with some pretty scary results.
Here’s a few simple tips to help you conquer this problem.