BOOK V Cover Update: Mood and Lighting

July 30, 2011

CAROL PHILLIPS is working away on the horrific cover to Book V, The Temple of the Exploding Head. It’s coming along quite well with the enhanced lighting adding mood and drama to the scene.

As Carol puts it:

Light and shadow is a really important part of creating mood in a painting. It can take a boring painting and make it look really awesome, or if done incorrectly, can make it look flat and dull. I learned early on it was important to pay attention to your various light sources and always keep them in mind while creating your piece. It is a key point in creating a believable environment, character or creature and can make or break your artwork.

"The Temple of the Exploding Head" by Carol Phillips

Creating an environment from your head can be tough and it can be difficult to keep your light source in mind. A good thing to do, is to mark out the direction of your light source with an arrow (on a separate layer or lightly on your drawing,) to remind you while painting where the light is coming from. It also helps with confusion of multiple light sources. Working from your head you probably wont get things 100% real life accurate but if you keep the light sources in mind it will help to make your work seem possible.

It’s also important to keep in mind if your light is warm light ( fire/ candle) or cool light (could be found out doors). It is especially challenging when working with both cool and warm light sources on a piece like the Temple, but using warm and cool lights can add a lot of drama and interesting colors to a piece.

Look how the warm fire light brings out the depth of the Temple, lighting up the back tiers giving the viewer a hint how wide the Temple is, while the cooler lighting provides a sense of loftiness and imposing height. With the lighting in place, you can see what was previously hidden behind the more prominent tiers of statue and pillars. With the orange light, the Temple looks more unsettled, more wild and dangerous, which is the impression the viewer should be getting. I can only imagine what the scene will look like when the character layers are turned on.

See the difference when only the cool lighting elements are displayed. The Temple looks calm, peaceful even, like a football stadium before the football game starts. Even though the place is festooned with horrific images, the lighting makes it seem at peace. It also loses all of its depth, with the deeper parts of the temple lost in shadow. The Temple seems much taller rather than wide in the cool lighting.

Book V, The Temple of the Exploding Head will be available for purchase November 2011.

copyright 2011, Ren Garcia and Carol Phillips

3 Responses to “BOOK V Cover Update: Mood and Lighting”

  1. I have always been a Maxfield Parrish fan because his use of lighting is just so beautiful. Carol also has a gift with making luminous art. Cool Post!

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