Paint Glowing Light
You can paint glowing light with basic Photoshop brushes. Easily add depth and drama to create beautiful artistic effects. Because my book illustrations combine many different objects in one image, painting with light is a critical step. As I build each layer of a composite, I pay close attention to light sources. I paint ambient light onto nearby objects to integrate them into a scene. The method used to paint with light isn’t difficult and fits into any workflow. In the image below, I used just 2 brushes to create glowing light.
How to Create Glowing Light
The 2 basic brushes you need to get started are found in the Photoshop Brush Preset panel: 1. a Hard Round Brush and 2. a Soft Round Brush. You can modify the opacity, flow, size, and hardness of each brush in the same Panel, as shown below:
- To create a wide area of glowing light, use a large, Hard Round Brush at 0 (zero) Hardness and 50% Opacity.
- To emphasize light falling on the edges of an object, use a very small Hard Round Brush at 100% Opacity. Zoom the image to at least 50% and drag the small brush along the object’s edges to create glowing “rim” light.
- Select a color for the brush that’s similar to the light surrounding your object. For example, just behind the girl, I painted light with a soft pinkish hue. This reflects the color of the dress and makes the whole image appear seamless.
Get started by experimenting with brush sizes, opacity, etc. As I do more painting with light, I realize how tricky it is to describe the outcome, or result. While light creates magical, luminous glow, it also creates realism. Light anchors objects into a scene. Take a moment to examine your current surroundings. Spot the light sources (windows, lamps, sun, moon, etc.) and follow the spread of light with your eyes. What does it touch? Where does it spread? What different colors do you see in the light? Then look closely at the image you’re working on and begin to fill the space with light.
I love teaching Photoshop users how to paint glowing light. If you’d like to set up a private lesson via Skype, please email me: joann@StoryQuestBooks.com. I teach beginner to advanced levels.