Consistent reading of light

  • Hi everyone,
    I am back with some questions and fresh eyes. These are the light ssources in this painting:

    • the sunlight that is shining outside (this is probably a scene shot during the late afternoons but the sun is not yet setting)
    • on top of the left girl's head there is a small ambient type of light maybe hanging mainly cuz I think it looks pretty
      -the PC light on her.
      Can anyone please point out what I can do to make the lighting setup look more consistent?
      Any other suggestions or draw over would be great too.

  • Pro SVS OG

    When I was starting out with painting, I also loved delve into complex situations with multiple light sources. Then one teacher strongly advised me to stick with one light source, and pointed out how 99% of successful paintings, even from great masters, have only one light source and are stronger because of it. The same held through as I was studying concept art for animation. So my advice would be to stick with one main light source and the whole painting to that.
    The truth is a bit more complex - many paintings have a fill Iight (I paint that in the initial block in) and a rim light (which is added at the very end) - but it remains true that it is simpler and more successful to have only one main light.

  • @smceccarelli I agree, but here I added a computer screen. So even if I remove the ambient, I would still need to get the screen light on the girl?

  • Pro SVS OG

    @Nazuba Do you need to have the computer screen? Is it part of the story? If so, you could handle the piece like it had a single light source, and then add the computer light at the very end, very subtly. However, the kind of main light you have here (back light) is very difficult to pull through. Basically the whole figures would be in shadow with this scheme.
    If you want the computer light to read clearly, you need the figures to be much darker. Overall this is a very challenging lighting scheme, and I would think about making it simpler (like a main overhead light, or a directional light coming from the front).
    An interesting book to read if you are interested in lighting schemes is "Color and Light" by James Gurney. This and his other book ("Imaginative realism") are sort of key reference books for illustrators and are worth reading and re-reading....

  • @smceccarelli I actually have that book. I'll digest it and get back to this piece again I guess. Thanks for pointing it out!

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