- Create an artwork about a place that you used to visit in the past.
- The artwork can have any type of images: from real life to fantastical and surrealistic.
- Adding figure(s) into the place is optional.
- Start by writing a list of places from your past.
- Try to choose a place that you can no longer visit, perhaps the place has changed to something else, perhaps it’s a store that closed, etc.
- For each place you list, write a short narrative: how old were you when you went there, why did you go there, how often did you go, who did you go with?
- Make a list of the aspects of the place you remember: the smells, the colors, the atmosphere.
- Consider what your perception was at the time, was it a tiny grocery store that in your mind felt like a magical palace? Was it an old movie theater that felt cozy and fun?
- Get specific about the lighting situation in your artwork.
- For example, grocery stores tend to have fluorescent lights which is cold and sterile and makes everything look flat.
- The lighting in your artwork does not have to accurately match the place in real life.
- For example, to portray the grocery store that felt a magical palace, you add a chandelier into the artwork, even though the grocery store didn’t actually have a chandelier.
- Distinguish between natural light and artificial light.
- Consider the different types of highlights and shadows.
reference photo tips
- It’s unlikely that you’ll find a good reference photo of this original place in real life.
- We recommend getting together a group of reference photos to “recreate” that place in your artwork.
- Our photos are free to use as long as you credit Art Prof when posting your artwork. More info on permissions is here.
brainstorming & Sketching
- Create mood boards.
- Brainstorm with key words, image searches, mind maps, etc.
- Draw at least 6 thumbnail sketches.
art media & format
- Use any art media, 2D and/or 3D.
- You might consider a format that allows for multiple images in a single artwork: a triptych, a 4 panel comic, etc.
Natural Light vs Artificial Light
Lighting plays a huge role for artists and can dramatically effect the mood of an artwork. This video explains the differences between artificial light and natural light in illustrations, paintings, comics, films, animation and more.
Examples in art show how natural lighting and artificial lighting create different visual affects, and how that can impact the story or mood of an artwork. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Cat Huang.
Great 2D Compositions
These examples explain and break down the compositions to point out strategies that make for an engaging 2D composition. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Jordan McCracken-Foster.