Lighting Characters

Creating different lighting situations for characters has impactful visual effects and can also be used as a narrative tool. The interaction of color and various types of light can create a broad range of color schemes. Lighting can be a very effective means of creating a mood or atmosphere to a character as well. Draw along led by Teaching Artists Cat Huang and Jordan McCracken-Foster.

Video Walkthrough

  • Considering the color palette in relation to the character’s emotions.
  • Children are very challenging to draw, their proportions are tough.
  • Jordan using a photo of a figure skater as a reference for a hoverboard design for this character.
  • Designing accessories for a character in relation to their story.
  • How to draw the same character in multiple art styles.
  • Start small with comics.
  • Basing characters on people you know in real life.
  • Figuring out the mood of the scene and then matching colors to that.
  • Use yourself as a super quick reference when creating lighting.
  • Being part of an artist community keeps all of us motivated.
  • Strong story & characters are important regardless of the media.
  • Adjusting the color scheme with multiply, darken, etc. (settings)
  • Using complementary colors for the shadows.
  • Consider the location of the light in relation to the character, is the light from above, from below?
  • How to deal with color variation between various streams.
  • Stories and TV shows you grow up with can influence you as an artist.
  • Working with characters long term.
  • Creating lighting with unusual colors to show a mood.
  • You don’t have to follow the character’s color scheme when creating a lighting situation.
  • Seeing different art styles is great!

Software used