Playing With Light and Digital “Pastels”

Samantha George, digital painting of light coming through trees.

Quick little digital sketch. I am supposed to practicing drawing people and animals…but I am also practicing playing with light and looking at shapes. I realized that a lot of the illustrations that I like have pretty dramatic and stylized lighting, often shining through trees or windows and casting long dramatic graphic shadows.

I also wanted to play around with using a sort of limited color palette. I took a mini art class at work a few weeks ago where we went to a park and drew with pastels. The pastel sets has 15 colors, and none of them were the actual colors of the trees. That was great because it made me stop trying to represent what I was seeing accurately, and instead look at shapes, shadows, highlights, and whether colors were warm or cool. I wanted to play around with the same limited palette, so I found the exact same pastel set and “eyedroppered” all the colors out of it in photoshop to make a digital palette. Very sneaky heheh.

I have also been enjoying playing with photoshop brushes that imitate real art materials. The ones I used for the chalky parts of this sketch are from this free set. I love how the texture of these brushes stay speckly like real chalk when you drag the brush. They are also great to use as erasers to make chalky edges by erasing. I also used this free pencil brush for the black charcoal-ish parts. It is the best “pencil” brush I have found, as long as you don’t blow the size up too large.

I used this photo by ++NiklasPhotography++ on Flickr for reference.

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