Reddit Reddit reviews Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (Volume 2) (James Gurney Art)

We found 94 Reddit comments about Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (Volume 2) (James Gurney Art). Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Arts & Photography
Figure Drawing Guides
Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (Volume 2) (James Gurney Art)
Andrews McMeel Publishing
Check price on Amazon

94 Reddit comments about Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (Volume 2) (James Gurney Art):

u/MeltedGalaxy · 364 pointsr/me_irl

Ok, now take note of what went wrong with your drawing and try again, and again, and again. Then after a few weeks go back and compare your latest drawings to this one.

The master has failed more times then the novice has tried.

If you want some resources, here are some youtube channels:

u/mygrapefruit · 122 pointsr/pics

I coloured this photo, here's the original at Library of Congress. These are curb brokers on Broad Street, around the 1900s it was common to trade stocks on the literal street:

>The curb brokers had been kicked out of the Mills Building front by 1907, and had moved to the pavement outside the Blair Building where cabbies lined up. There they were given a "little domain of asphalt" fenced off by the police on Broad Street between Exchange Place and Beaver Street, after Police Commissioner McAddo took office.[8] As of 1907, the curb market operated starting at 10'clock in the morning, each day except Sundays, until a gong at 3 o'clock. Orders for the purchase and sale of securities were shouted down from the windows of nearby brokerages, with the execution of the sale then shouted back up to the brokerage.[8]

>The noise caused by the curb market led to a number of attempts to shut it down.[1] In August 1907, for example, a Wall Street lawyer sent an open letter to the newspapers and the police commissioner, begging for the New York Curb Market on Broad Street to be immediately abolished as a public nuisance. He argued the curb exchange served "no legitimate or beneficial purpose" and was a "gambling institution, pure and simple." He further cited laws relating to street use, arguing blocking the thoroughfare was illegal. The New York Times, reporting on the open letter, wrote that brokers informed of the letter "were not inclined to worry." The article described "their present ground on the broad asphalt in front of 40 Broad Street, south of the Exchange Place, is the first haven of which they have had anything like indisputed possession."[8]

Other streets usually weren't as crowded as this, although people seemed to walk more freely compared to today.

A quote to imagine what the noise was like:

>"...journalist Edwin C. Hill described the curb trading on lower Broad Street as "a roaring, swirling whirlpool... like nothing else under the astonishing sky that is its only roof.”

A bit about the process: Color Mode in Photoshop and choosing a colour is all guesswork - you will never get the colours 100% right but you can get pretty close by looking at color photos or videos of historical clothing and other man-made objects from museums, movie sets, paintings etc.

Over time you will get a feel for how colours for different materials (clothing, stone, wood etc) behave in different lighting. You look at what time of day and setting the photograph is taken in and adjust your colors to reflect the proper tones. You are practically a painter aiming for realistic colors so knowledge in how colors interact with the atmosphere come in handy. I'm self taught but early on I learned a lot about this in this book by James Gurney:

u/rex15 · 30 pointsr/Art

This guy is a brilliant painter. One of my favorite painting books is written by him:
light and color

u/OnlyTim · 29 pointsr/Art

Thank you! Here's a quick list of the ones I can recall. :)

Figure drawing - Michael Hampton

alla prima - Richard Schmid

figure drawing for all it's worth - Andrew Loomis

drawing from life - George Bridgman

Color and light - James Gurney

As for videos, a whole lot of youtube ones, specifically from these channels;


Feng Zhu


and a few workshop videos by Whit Brachna, Brad Rigney and Donato Giancola.

hope it helps some. thanks for the interest! :)

u/kellyeddington · 24 pointsr/Art

That's a big question! I've been painting for 30 years and was an art teacher for 17. I think the secret ingredient to what I do is TIME--literally decades of practice--and a heaping dose of patience. I've recently started a channel on YouTube where I attempt to show people my techniques, if you're interested: As far as books go, I don't have much to recommend for watercolor, but I received this one recently and it blew my mind as far as color and light are concerned. Wish I would have had this as a student!

u/Geersart · 21 pointsr/TheLastAirbender

adobe photoshop CS6, Wacom intuos 3, this is a good book

u/IrisHopp · 12 pointsr/learntodraw

From the top of my head...

I don't know every single source out there, so this list could definitely be improved.

Proportions & placement:

Sketching, life drawing, master studies, gesture drawing, … (basically building a visual library)

Form & Construction:

Loomis Fun with A Pencil (see sidebar), Draw-through (need to know perspective first)


Perspective Made Easy + lots of practice


Loomis, Vilppu, Hampton, Bridgeman, … photo reference studies, drawing yourself from a mirror


Proko, life drawing, gesture drawing.


Don’t know the go-to source for this one, but learn about: separation of foreground, middleground, background, rule of thirds + experiment by making a lot of thumbnails + analyse master paintings/photographs/classic movies


Scott Robertson How to Render


James Gurney: Book, [Blog series on Gamut Mask](james gurney color gamut)

Master studies + experiment by thumbnailing lots

u/iamthepandaofdoom · 11 pointsr/minipainting

In approximate order of importance in my opinion:

  1. Paint a little bit every day you possibly can, even if it's only half an hour. The goal is to keep painting on the mind, half the learning happens when you don't even have a brush in your hand.

  2. Don't worry about not having perfect equipment right from the off or at least don't let it stop you painting. If you're rich, this doesn't apply - just buy top end stuff from the start. For mortals, don't worry so much about that just follow point 1. That said proper miniature paint and at least one good brush goes a very long way and should be first on the list of upgrades if you're not already starting with them. Anyway, the point is go and re-read point 1 and do that even if you have to use a stick and different coloured mud.

  3. Don't panic so much if the mini you paint looks rubbish. You will almost always think your mini looks rubbish; your ability to spot flaws increases at the same time as your skill at painting and this is not an accident. Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good. Go read point 1.

  4. Always try to paint a better mini than your last. This may sound obvious but I think a lot of people, me included, sometimes get stuck in a rut. Think you've painted the same or similar for the last few minis? Try a new technique. Came out looking rubbish? See point 3. You're learning, get used to thinking you're a bit rubbish.

  5. Watch videos and read tutorials. I'm a bit odd here in that I'd suggest trying to watch high end painters from the very start. If you really want to learn how to paint you don't want to learn the low end cheats that form bad habits. There are so many things that didn't even occur to me before I watched some pros that I wish I'd done this part far earlier. Your mileage may vary on this one but while a lot of beginners find they get decent results by, for example, dousing the model in wash I guarantee once you get good you will not do this at all. Hence, if you're going to good painting then skip the quick hacks and look at the proper techniques. Just want to spit out a load of troops quickly rather than focus on quality? Ignore this bit, wash away.

  6. Go and learn a bit of colour theory and/or some appreciating of art in general. Some colours go together better than others and picking the correct colours can make a mini look so much better even if the technical skill isn't perfect. Similarly positioning highlights better helps a great deal. There's even mini specific books on his sort of thing, as well as traditional art books. Knowing a little bit about why you're painting this colour or that is half the battle.

  7. Go to 1)
u/old_fig_newtons · 9 pointsr/learnart

You need to specify which medium you're interested in learning first, since they work differently. Pick a medium, and invest in a some medium specific books and more general theory ones (example).

If you're interested in oils, check out Bob Ross. He had a tv series that ran for a while, and each episode he instructed you on how to build up different landscapes. I'm a watercolor painter, but I still looked at Ross's videos to understand the process of building a painting up (very important i believe).

Ultimately google is your friend. Just google "(your medium) techniques/tutorials/etc" and you will be pleasantly surprised. Youtube also posses a great wealth of knowledge in video form.

u/TheBlankCanvas · 8 pointsr/gamedev

This is widely considered to be one of the most comprehensive art tutorials anywhere.

I urge you to keep in mind; Simplicity. Flat shapes and well coordinated colors (Think about saturation, use color palette creators like Adobe's KULER thing- there are dozens of free ones around the web) A basic, but well explored understanding of artistic principles can net you fresh, competent visuals. Good art doesn't need to be complex.

Other great things:

u/ladykristianna · 7 pointsr/ArtistLounge

If he's wanting to get into drawing, I'd suggest picking up a book or two from Andrew Loomis. They were written back in the early-mid twentieth century, and they're still popular among artists today, and for good reason. I personally have Drawing the Head and the Hands by Andrew Loomis, and it's a wonderful reference tool for drawing/painting the human face. [Amazon]

Another great artist's reference book is Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney. [Amazon] James Gurney also has a great informational YouTube channel that's worth checking out.

Also, please don't start with cheapo supplies kits whether they're watercolors, acrylics, or oils. They're not well made and can be frustrating to work with for beginners and pros alike. Read or watch some reviews first (YouTube review videos are a great place to see a lot of supplies in action from real artists).

I think a fun medium to start with would be gouache (it's like a cross between acrylic and watercolors). Arteza is a good quality middle of the road brand (not cheap quality, but not pro grade either) that you can get for a relatively good price [[Gouache 24 pk on Amazon]](, and they're fun to work with too. You'll need something to paint on too. Watercolor paper or multimedia paper/sketchbook are good to start with. A plastic or porcelain palette and some watercolor brushes will be needed too. You can pick up some of these at your local art store. Heck, I've even seen some artists using porcelain plates or deviled egg servers from a thrift store as a palette for their watercolors and gouache!

There are lots of tutorial videos on YouTube that you or he can check out. Skillshare, like some of the others mentioned, is a good learning resource too.

u/artistwithquestions · 7 pointsr/learnart

Last time I tried to give advice on drawings the person got upset and quit reddit, soooo, please don't do that. My suggestion if you're absolutely serious about drawing is to absolutely learn the fundamentals.

Fun With A Pencil: How Everybody Can Easily Learn to Draw

Drawing the Head and Hands

Figure Drawing for All It's Worth

Successful Drawing

Creative Illustration

And after the basics

Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist (Volume 1) (James Gurney Art)

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (Volume 2) (James Gurney Art)

It doesn't matter what medium you use, learning how to draw and understanding what you're doing will help out the most.

u/Nausved · 7 pointsr/learnart

Skin is hard, because skin isn't actually opaque. It is translucent, so it picks up light and colors and scatters them within itself, as if it were a thin layer of wax all over your body. This is called subsurface scattering, and it gives skin a softer appearance, a reddish glow (from blood vessels), and more color and depth in the shadows.

Look at this image. It does a good job of breaking down the different elements of a face. The left image, of course, is the actual shape of the face. The second image is the flat shading; there is no scattering here, just straight up "Does the light hit this spot directly?" It also includes a "specular" map, which indicates which parts of the image are glossy and shiny; notice the area around the nose is shiny, for example. I'll get back to specularity later on.

The third image includes the coloration alongside the flat shading. A "diffuse" map shows the appearance of something when bright, diffuse light hits it from all angles. Basically, it shows the colors at the brightest and most saturated they can ever be. A computer program applies shading to a model, and then adds the color, such that the colors are their most vivid where the model is lit most brightly.

The fourth image shows flat shading with subsurface scattering added. Notice how the left side of the face--which does not get hit directly by light at all, and was previously almost black--is now rather bright and varied. That's because her skin is now transmitting light, which helps even the light out. And the fifth image just adds the diffuse map (essentially, the color map) back in.


Basically, this is what you want to create. And like a computer, it may help you to think about it in pieces, and then add all those different pieces together.

  1. As you probably know, when you're learning art, you start by learning how to depict 3D shapes in 2D. This is very much like creating a mesh for a 3D model, except traditional artists use a much more simplified construction.

  2. Artists next learn how to do flat shading. They think about where the light source is coming from, and they make the planes of the head that are facing toward that light brighter, while the planes facing away are darker. Beginner art schools make their students spend endless hours practicing stuff like this.

  3. Then artists tend to start thinking about color (including pigment colors and light colors) and light scattering (including subsurface scattering and light reflection). This is the step you're stuck on--and, to be fair, this is about as complicated as shading gets. It's simply not intuitive, and even in computer graphics, it's only fairly recently that subsurface scattering has become a common thing. But without it, skin lacks luster and life. There is no rule of thumb I can offer here, sadly. The best you can do is try to draw from life or from photos as much as you can, and eventually you'll start to pick it up. You'll learn which parts of the face scatter light differently, and you'll learn how it changes as the light direction changes (e.g., backlighting is dramatically different from front lighting). Don't be afraid to open a photo in some art software and actually sample colors from it; this can help you learn how to identify colors better and avoid falling trap to this classic illusion.

  4. Artists often add specularity last. This also relates to diffuse coloration, which is something I think you need help with, so I'll go into a bit of detail about that.


    When coloring and lighting an object, there are three basic sections: the part that falls into shadow, the part that is in light, and the part that receives a specular highlight. The part that falls into shadow tends to reflect light from the surrounding area, and it also tends to be cast in a different color from the part that is in light. Specifically, shadows will tend to be the opposite of the light color. However, when I say "opposite colors" here, I'm talking about light colors (in which red, green, and blue are the primary colors, and cyan, magenta, and yellow are the secondary colors). Here are the pairings of opposite colors, if it might help you:

  • red - cyan
  • blue - yellow
  • green -magenta

    So, for example, if you have a reddish-blueish light (i.e., a magenta light), the shadows will tend to look greenish. They will also take on a bit of the color reflected off nearby objects (such as the ground), though.

    A common approach is slightly yellow (perhaps verging on red) light with slightly blue (perhaps verging on cyan) shadows, especially if sunlight is coming in from a low angle, as in this painting.

    The opposite (blueish light, yellowish shadows) can also look good, especially if the sunlight comes from direct above.

    Under moonlight, firelight, incandescent light, fluorescent light, etc., you can get different effects; for example, this painting depicts reddish light with greenish shadows.

    You can very effectively avoid the use of black altogether in your shadows by making dark areas the opposite color to light areas. For example, look at this picture. The part of her face that is in shade is not much darker than the part that is in light. However, it is blueish, which makes it immediately apparent that it's shaded. (Also, note that the edge of her jaw is picking up white light reflected from her T-shirt.)


    Now let's talk about the second part of an image, the part that is in light. Remember what I said earlier about diffuse maps? How they represent the object when it is in bright, diffuse light--and they, effectively, show the color at the brightest and most saturated that it will get in that image? Well, this is what you need to do. Figure out what color your character's skin is, and give him that color of skin in the parts where he is in bright light. Where parts of his face aren't as bright, tone down the saturation and brightness a bit.

    Going back to the photo here, you can see that her skin is pinkest where the light is bright (ignoring the shiny bits for the moment). You can see it in here hair, too. Where her hair is in bright light, it is very vividly colored.


    Now let's talk about the last section, the part that receives a specular highlight. The specular highlight is the part that is so bright that it gets washed out. There is very little (if any) color; it's usually just bright white (assuming the light source is also close to white).

    The shinier the object is, the smaller and sharper the specular highlight becomes, and the more it reflects the shape of the light source.

    The more matte the object is, the wider and duller the specular highlight becomes. It's worth noting that even objects that you wouldn't expect to have a specular highlight often still do; it's just very subtle, like on this cardboard tube.

    Also, the harsher the light is, the bigger and brighter the specular highlight will be. Even matte objects can get overexposed under the right conditions. But no matter how big or bright a specular highlight is, it will never occur in a place that is in shadow (assuming only a single light source; as you add more light sources, things get complicated--and keep in mind that nearby reflective surfaces do act as minor secondary light sources).

    When painting a face, think about the parts of the face that are the most oily or glossy. These tend to be the eyelids, the lips, the nose, the scalp (on bald people), the eyeballs, and so on. These are places you'll see smaller, brighter specular highlights. Perhaps needless to say, sweat also adds glossiness, while makeup tends to remove glossiness.


    If you want to learn more or if you want these concepts explained better, I highly recommend this book.

    Also, this is intended for pixel artists, but you may be interested in this tutorial, which illustrates a common method for creating a rich, harmonious color palette for matte objects.
u/gameguran · 6 pointsr/Sleepycabin

I have a more painterly background but I figure that this is exactly the same mindset in practically everything you draw.

> Mind the color of your background.

Everything you draw plays of the background color, it is the most important supporting character in everything you draw. So mind your hues, I love to incorporate it in my base colors.

> What is the color of the light.

Light reflecting on surfaces and bouncing into our eyes is what makes us see things. So naturally the color of the light is going to affect a surface and what hue is going to affect the shadow. Use a color wheel to find the complementary colors. I am currently subscribing to the Goethe version.

> Where is the area placed.

Further back it blends into the atmosphere, making it harder for the light to reach our eyes without being diluted on the way.

Some examples with most of that stuff.
With everything 1
With everything 2
Without background 1
without background 2

For further read I recommend Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney

I included an amazon link, but this is the internet. You can probably find it.

u/superchives · 6 pointsr/conceptart

THIS BOOK, and THIS BOOK, are damn near the gold standard for getting started and professionals alike.

u/KnivesMillions is dead on with the point on fundamentals. Start with a good foundation of drawing and color theory. Drawing and painting from life and observation are also an excellent way to get better quickly.

A fantastic convention/gallery show to attend would be Illuxcon (if you can make it to Pennsylvania), where you can meet top-tier working artists in the industry (Danato Gincola, Scott Fisher, Iris Compt, both of the Gerards, etc.), see their work in the flesh, and ask them questions (they are usually quite receptive to questions if you are professional and polite).

Also, there are no set in stone rules for what constitutes "amazing fantasy art" aside from craft. All is chaos, embrace it.

u/StressCavity · 6 pointsr/animation

While your end goal might be cartoons, you will HAVE to learn to draw realistically to some extent. No way would you be able to animate anything in perspective otherwise, understand lighting, or know how to composite complex scenes. There are fundamentals that you must understand that are key to 2D animation, regardless of art style, which should be continuously worked on alongside your stylistic development.


Simple book on perspective

My favorite anatomy book

A pretty simple book on light (More pictures/examples than in-depth detail)

Overall beginners drawing book

This covers light/shadow and materials decently for beginners

I personally think you should focus on fundamentals alone until you have a decent grasp before looking at animation. But if you want to learn concurrently, this book is pretty well-known in the industry: LINK

There's tons more, but I already think this might be too much to take in all at once. Discover for yourself the rest, it's not good to have everything handed to you with fundamentals, gotta reign it in personally.

u/Garret_AJ · 5 pointsr/conceptart

[Quick paintover/ color correction to help with the crit.]

I can see potential, but there's work to be done. If we had time I could take you through design/storytelling, perspective, and stroke technique issues, but for now I want to focus on color.

  • Color choices: I kept your pink and yellow scheme to show what can be done with color and lighting. That being said they don't quite go together well. There's not a lot of cases where something is fully saturated, and you have a highly saturated yellow contrasting with a very saturated pink. You don't need highly saturated complementary colors to get the image to pop; that's mostly done in the design. The first thing I did when I color corrected the image was turn down the saturation.

    Also, it appears to be daytime judging by the background photo, but there's no strong shadows or bright sunlit areas. The sky is kinda dark and washed out. If it's daytime we (the viewer) need to really feel the warm sun and cool shadows.

    I numbered the points of critique here:

  1. I fixed the hard yellow dust and made a mix to look more like the beams are hitting the surface.
  2. When a color bounces off another color, those colors (in most cases) mix together. When yellow and pink mix they make orange. The eye will believe it looks pink when the right color is used. These are called context colors. For example, the two colors with the arrows are the same color.
  3. Think about where the light is coming from. The yellow swamp is going to bounce yellow light up onto the structures. Also the blue sky will add a bluish hue to shadows.
  4. You may notice in the shadows the water color is green. Again, this is because the sky is blue and when the light from the sky hits the yellow water it will mix to make green. Take a look around your images and think about how color and light will react with the colors around them.
  5. Sky need's to be brighter in the daytime.
  6. The sun is bright white (with a hint of yellow). When something is in the sun it should be well lit.
  7. I used some yellow mist to push the structure on the right further into the distance.
  8. (not numbered) I noticed you had trouble connecting your structures to the ground. They just stop at the ground. There needs to be a hand shake (of sorts) they should mingle a bit. They should be around the same value, and some of the colors should be bouncing off the ground on to the structure.

    My general advice: drop the photobashing for now. Save it for when you're killing it on the rendering. It's a good technique to hit those deadlines during production, but this early on it's gonna make you miss out on all those skills you'd develop painting those mountains. Also, get this book on color theory by James Gurney. It will explain color theory way better than I can.

    TL;DR learn how to render like a pro before you can photobash like a pro. Learn up on your color theory. Hope that helps.
u/dv12900 · 5 pointsr/Filmmakers

Color and Light by James Gurney is one of my favorite books. It's a painter's guide, but it does provide a lot of insight in how color determines the mood and atmosphere of a picture, and how it interacts with our eyes. I have gotten a lot out of it as a digital artist, but it also proved useful for VFX, and might even be of help to a director. Even if it doesn't tell you anything new, the art depicted in the book is absolutely beautiful.

u/CaptainFiddlebottom · 4 pointsr/learnart

Theres so much you need to know to make a good piece, and I'm really only starting to get there after about 4-6 years of off and on 'serious' studying/practice. I also taught myself, used books, dvds, and online articles/tutorials.. with a little assistance from some art school friends for a short period of time.

You're really going to be accumulating a lot of books/dvds/tutorials through the years.. and they're all going to be valuable to you.

Maybe you should pick something you want to focus on.. and then move towards it by practicing everything it encompasses.

Could start with the elements and principles of design.



Color Theory (Color and Light by James Gurney, Kecleon Color Theory)


Life Drawing to understand light/values.

Figure drawing to understand the human figure. (Anatomy books, Figure Drawing For All It's Worth, Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators, Force: Character Design from Life Drawing.) I love the Force books because they taught me how to SEE, INTERPRET, and EXPAND on an idea when it came to figure drawings.

The Animator's Survival Kit/Drawn to Life to understand motion, even if you don't want to be an animator. has been an invaluable resource to me throughout the years too. (It's mostly digital stuff, but there really is no huge difference. It's all the same principles, just less preparation and knowledge about brush types/liquin. Once you understand how they work.. you're set anyway.)

And I'm constantly searching for more material to help me out. I just bought that Color and Light book because my understanding of how color works was atrocious.

I don't even know if this is going to be all the helpful.. but, uhh.. here. lol TL;DR.

u/HalleyOrion · 4 pointsr/learnart

You might find this book helpful. It's more a reference manual than a tutorial, but it provides very excellent information on color.

It's not focused on pixel art, but most of the principles can be carried into pixel art (and any other art style that makes use of color or lighting).

u/photojacker · 4 pointsr/ColorizedHistory


Thanks, you are very kind and I'm pleased my colour images have inspired you to do your own. Whilst I have my own way of doing things which have just come out of practice, as a general rule of thumb, I offer the following advice:

  • Don't be afraid to add plenty of saturation - this is important because I see a lot of work that is really devoid of saturated colour, as a sort of strange cognitive reaction to seeing images with too much.

  • More layers increase the perception of realism. For a face, I average about 14 layers of colour. Not the most efficient way of doing things, but the layering up is important, even on a near imperceptible level.

  • It's worth exploring two areas beyond doing your research: the first is trying to understand how light affects colour on different surfaces, and the second is trying to understand how film emulsions affect the final luminosity - I see very little adjustments at the end to correct a washed out blue or a deeply saturated red. /u/mygrapefruit recommended me James Gurney's Color & Light a long time ago, and it's worth buying.

  • Observe how cameras record colour nowadays and try to match it.

  • Practice doing differently lit subjects, and different kinds of images. It really helps.

  • Practice, and do it a lot. Apart from commissions, I have loads of unfinished or incomplete images where I was planning on just exploring a certain technique.

    And lastly...

  • Have patience. This is your biggest asset and there is a temptation to rush on the background details, but it's ignoring those details that give it away.

u/CathulianCG · 3 pointsr/animation

Hey, I'm a CG Lighting artist by trade, I'll let you know some good resources that have helped me.

As a lighter, your goal is things things, Setting the mood/atmosphere, Shaping (making sure you can make out forms of the scene), and Leading the eye (I feel like there is a fourth, but I can't think of it this morning lol)

Some good books to read:

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter

Light for Visual Artists (hard book to find, but worth finding a copy)

Digital Lighting and Rendering(new edition coming out soon)

Great resources to start and help train your eye, studying films is the next step. Picking apart scenes to understand how and why they lit the scene the way they did, studying photography is a great place to look as well.

Also if you can afford it, TD-U has a fantastic online course from a couple of great instructors to help you on your way of understanding CG Lighting. If you can afford the class it will be a great place to start. I took the class last year and it was an AMAZING resource, I didn't know anything beyond the technical understanding of lighting, this course really helped me understand the artistic side of lighting. The instructors are great and very helpful.

anyways, hope that helps, if you have any questions feel free to message me.

u/186394 · 3 pointsr/learnart

Color and Light by James Gurney.
How to Draw by Scott Robertson.
Figure Drawing by Michael Hampton.

And for perspectice specifically, this $12 video series by Marshall Vandruff.

u/ObeyMyBrain · 3 pointsr/artistspeakeasy

Maybe the James Gurney books, Imaginative Realism and Color and Light

u/wiseoldtabbycat · 3 pointsr/HunterXHunter

> If there is literature/links/methods that you find especially effective (particularly for a newbie with 0 experience) I would be grateful. %)

Michael Hampton is my favourite anatomy artist

All of Andrew Loomis's books are available at that link, they are completely invaluable - I particularly recommend "fun with a pencil" for newbies

learn to paint with Reilly's Papers absolutely invaluable for digital painting.

Posemaniacs is my favourite site for practicing gesture drawing and poses, the pose timer is fantastic.

James Gurney is the king of imaginative realism, follow his blog and buy his books they will serve you very well.

linesandcolours is a wonderful art blog

Most importantly - read and keep a record of artists you enjoy, don't be afraid to try out their styles and techniques and copy your favourite paintings - "mastercopying" is a legitimate technique for learning how to improve your own work - as they say "all art is theft".

And the best advice I can give you - have fun with what you do. Keep multiple projects on the go, big and small. If you aren't in the mood to do a big painting, make something shitty and hilarious in MS paint. Find someone to art-trade with (hell, I'll art trade with you anytime - I'm always looking for people to collab and share with). Don't be scared to make absolute crap because being loose and free with your work at any level of complexity teaches you not be precious and will ultimately make you a more relaxed artist.

u/surecmeregoway · 3 pointsr/tumblr

I bought this book years ago, when I started to get more into landscapes and colour theory. It's a good book, with solid advice.

Beyond that, observation and experimentation are invaluable. Don't be afraid to try different colors on things, see how they mesh and work. Don't be afraid to repaint. Knowing what works becomes natural over time, I swear. You'll instinctively know what colors to choose to enable a specific mood and how to easily mix them.

It's also not just about colour. It's about the hue, the saturation and the value. Value = dark and light. Hue = the shade. Saturation = how 'strong' or muted that color is. How close to neutral grey it is. Like, the image on the left doesn't seem to have a strong contrast in the foreground, but it does have red (okay, it's orange but orange is only red+yellow) and green shades which are complimentary colors: so it pops. The red is warm, it's inviting. The image on the right ditches a lot of the saturation in favor of strong color values, colors are muted (except for the green) and cool , there's no warmth in this image and that fence is a sharp, dark (ominous) contrast to the misty grey/neutral-ish background. Saturation and value play as much as part as just color when it comes to mood.

But this can all be learned and really easily! Youtube is also great for this kind of stuff.

u/AK_Art · 3 pointsr/painting

If you're looking a book that's about color overall, definitely look at James Gurney's Color and Light.

It is THE resource every artist should own regardless of skill. As for mixing colors and paints, I can't provide too much there, but try Jeff Miracola. He's a fantasy painter who does mostly acrylic work, but he's got a lot of tutorials and walkthroughs that may be of assistance.

Color theory and application can be difficult to master, and hopefully these resources can get you on a path to other resources that may be valuable.

u/sketchius · 3 pointsr/learnart

When the surface of a body of water is not still, like this, it will refract light onto objects below that will looks something like this or this. You could try appying that sort of light pattern on your sea floor, but I think it would be challenging.

The further (or deeper) light travels through water, the more it is affected by the water molecules. This scatters the light, making more ambient, or coming from all directions.

Color is also important in an underwater scene. James Gurney explains this in his book, Color and Light.
> Water selectively filters out colors of light passing through it. Red is mostly absorbed at ten feet, Orange and yellow wavelenths are gone by twenty feet, leaving a blue cast.

So, I would recommend toning down your reds, oranges, and yellows, to give it a more underwater quality.

Also, keep in mind that even blue light gets absorbed, given enough distance, making far-away objects difficult to see. You might consider fading out some of the background sharks and terrain.

I took the liberty of doing a quick paintover to show what I mean with the colors and fading.

But in terms of the light and shadow itself, I think you could still have a weak light source from above (the sun), combined with an ambient bluish light. Your illustration is quite strong as is, and I don't know if the lighting need to get super-realistic.

u/EyesOnEverything · 3 pointsr/DotA2

Unfortunately there's no definitive guide for that kind of stuff, and it comes to different artists in different ways. "No-outline art" encompasses an awful lot, and it's kind of hard to know where the difference begins. There's no one step-by-step tutorial that's better than any others, just a basic set of rules that, when applied by different artists, create a lot of different results!

For general painterly-looking stuff, I would recommend this book. I've found it really helpful, since I struggle with color and a painterly look in particular.

Reddit has some gems hidden in the rough as well. There are several art subreddits. Some of them are pretty dead, but they'll usually have some links in their sidebar to resources! This one's alright, and you can look around their related subs to go from sub to sub! I found this user mulling around /r/redditgetsdrawn. There's tons of speed-paint videos out there, but his are faster and looser while still coming together really nicely in the end. It's a good example of simplified painterly style, although that doesn't mean he's any less talented!

Sorry to not be more help, that's a very big question! There are resources all over, half the trouble is knowing how and where to look.

u/conteaparis · 3 pointsr/learnart

Gurney is a great resource for beginning painters. He goes really in depth about how colours work, how to use them, how to pick a palette, etc. This book by Richard Yot takes it a step further and teaches you why colour (and light more specifically) behaves the way it does, and will help you learn to properly observe colour from real life. Those are my go to resources. They are both enjoyable reads too, not overly verbose with many clear examples.

However, all the books in the world won't help you unless you actually take the time to put it all into practice. What you need is to learn about colour, yes, but also start making some paintings where you apply some of those concepts. A simple still life is a good place to start. Once you can do that, you might look into painting outdoor landscapes for a more dynamic lighting situation. Even if your paintings suck at first, the act of observing, analyzing, and trying to conceptualize light/colour from observation will gradually build up your familiarity with colour. It's no different from drawing, really. You just have to do the thing to get better at it.

u/itsoverbuddyboyo · 3 pointsr/IncelExit

I want to make it into a website, but I haven't done that part yet. Right now, it is just standalone, so you can only run it if you have the code.

I do digital art, watercolor and acrylic. No one knows though lol. Can't get myself to go to local clubs for that stuff.

You should read :

It is a very good book for color theory.

u/kmichruss · 3 pointsr/NoIJustColoredIt

Color theory is such a monster. That's why I haven't really tackled it yet, because others have done it better than I ever could.

I would say this is required reading for colorists:
It's a painting book, but most of it applies to both.

And if you haven't seen Sycra's YouTube videos on light, shadow, and choosing colors, go watch it... TONIGHT! It's so good.

I just updated the sidebar with that book and Sycra's video links.

I've got a new video coming on Thursday that talks a little about using gradient maps to come up with color palettes, but it's really just a short cut to get you a good starting point.

I will do a video on palettes soon. It keeps coming up. I recently added a bonus video that talks about it in my coloring course, but I can throw a little something on YouTube too.

u/Axikita · 3 pointsr/FurryArtSchool

Well, first off, nice work so far! It does seem like you're doing pretty well with the style you have going- proportions look good, anatomy looks correct, colors are appealing.

Probably the biggest thing I'm seeing that you could stand to work on is shading. It's not really a thing yet, most of your work is just flat colored. Here's a super brief tutorial that might give you some ideas of what to research, and ctrl-paint is an amazing resource for learning more of a painting approach. If you're willing to spend some money, his basic rendering video is a good one on this topic. Here's another good tutorial by Purplekecleon, which focuses a bit more on color and light sources. Learning shading and color both have a lot to do with learning how light works, and Gurney's Color and Light is definitely my favorite resource on the topic. Again, costs money, but it's well worth it.

It also seems like your work could use more detail, but I think a lot of that is limited by your lack of shading. Once you're comfortable rendering out a form, learning more anatomy might give you more detail to work with, as would figuring out how to deal with textures.

Aside from that, are there any artists who are particularly inspirational to you, or who do something you'd like to be able to do? I might be able to give more focused advice if I knew where you're trying to go with your work.

u/CottonSkeleton · 3 pointsr/Watercolor

Water in my experience is a lot trickier. Again, you've got a great start by using thinner lines on the stems to show they're behind a transparent object. Since the thickness of the stems is similar below and above the water level, you could make the line even thinner (like, super thin implied baby lines) when it's underwater. Or, you could forego linework completely and rely on colour to show the form (which I think looks super cool with watercolours).

I think using a thin line for the water surface worked well. A way to push the depth further would be to use perspective. Continue the water line around the back of the vase to show the surface of the water as a flat circle, instead of a curved 2D line - image searching 'cylinder in perspective' can show I mean. If you do this, it's best to be consistent and do the same with the vase as well, otherwise it looks kinda weird.

Another theory about line weight applies to objects in perspective - the further an object is from the viewer, the less detail the viewer sees, so the line work should be thinner as the object moves back.

You've got the right idea about using colours to show some reflection on the surface of the water. I think by using perspective to turn it into a flat plane instead of a line, it'll also make it easier for you to visualize when you try to add those reflections.

As for colouring underwater, that's... something I'm still learning myself lol

There's lots of information out there on the internet about perspective and colour theory that goes into way more depth (hah) than I can, but if you're looking for books check out Color and Light by James Gurney and Perspective Made Easy by Ernest Norling.

u/Choppa790 · 3 pointsr/ArtistLounge
u/Kallistrate · 3 pointsr/learnart

First off, congratulations on getting your comic book published! Your drawing is fantastic and, as a comic reader, I would pick it up for the cover alone. That's quite a feat, as I'm very picky. :)

As for the coloring, I'm not great at color personally, but I've been reading a lot about it lately and can maybe offer a useful opinion from what I've learned. It looks to me like the difference between the orange foreground and the blue background is too stark. I'm not sure if the blue flames are meant to be in the same physical area as the people in the foreground, but blue flames would cast blue light on objects, not white light (or lighter orange), and would bring the two parts of the picture together. If they aren't meant to be in the same physical space, I would maybe use a gradient on the blue pathway or create a delineation of some sort to separate where they're standing from the fire behind them.

If it's the former situation, there's a great book called Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter that covers all sorts of lighting and how it interacts with color and illustrates the idea of color transference much better than I can. I've mentioned it on here before, but I can't really recommend it enough; it completely changed my understanding of light in art. It also covers working with a (deliberately) limited color palette, which helped me a lot with actually understanding color theory instead of just picking random opposites/compliments off a color wheel in despair.

I also (and only upon closer first glance it seems fine to me) think the hands in the foreground need a different value from the figures in the midground to provide a better sense of depth and focus. If you look at the image in grayscale, I suspect the hands and the figures would be very similar. I wouldn't make a huge change, but having the hands and figures all the same color and same value makes them blend together, where a bit more contrast (light and dark) would help draw the eye to the figures. Obviously your composition does most of the work there, but color can either boost a composition or take away from it and I think it could be working harder for you here.

I hope this doesn't sound critical; honestly, the more I look at your cover, the more I like it, and these are the only issues I could find. I think your flames are great, and I'm really impressed by the coloring/shading on the hands in front. Who's your publisher, so I can pick up a copy?

u/puppy_time · 3 pointsr/DigitalPainting

No, although the further you recede, the less saturated everything is, including the shadows, but also the highlights. Atmospheric perspective indicates that they start to fade into the color of the sky...but what I meant was (and this happens to everyone starting out) you picked the colors of the sky, mountain, road, as colors that you think each of those elements are. So, grass is green, right? okay I'll pick a shade of green. The road is grey, right? Okay so pick grey for the road...when in reality light is a little more complicated than that, and a pleasant composition requires a cohesive color scheme. It means picking a different color for the road even though you think of it as 'grey' you simulate grey by choosing a less saturated green for example, or blue or whatever you have in your color palette.

This book is a wonderful reference and talks more about it if you're interested. The author made this video that explains a couple exercises you can do that will help.

u/OhNoRhino · 2 pointsr/Art

I was in a similar place

put a sketchbook in front of you - start there then work the piece digitally - be it scanning or just using the initial sketch as reference

Something is lost when you are drawing on a tablet but looking at a screen

that is unless you have a super awesome tablet that doubles as a monitor (drool)

also - this - Gurney is one of my heroes - he wrote and did the art for the dinotopia series

u/EntropyArchiver · 2 pointsr/SketchDaily

Only 5~ months ago did I decide to get serious about improving my art in my free time. For most of my life I only doodled occasionally. So I thought I would describe my plan of action with books and resources that I will likely be using. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

My process will be basics of construction-> perspective -> figure drawing -> digital art and rendering. Approximately 45% will be improving, 45% will be doing what I want for fun and 10% will be a daily sketch(this subreddit) that takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to complete. for fun I will be doing anything from digital to water color.

Construction and perspective: First I am starting my art journey by completing draw a box . Next I will go through Marshall Vandruff's Linear Perspective Videos and Perspective Made Easy simultaneously while referencing with how to draw by Scott Robertson. Briefly I will gloss at Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain or keys to drawing pulling ideas of where I might find weakness.

Figure drawing: Once those are finished, I will begin my figure drawing phase. I will move onto free proko subsided with loomis books such as this, other photo references sites like and Figure Drawing: Design and Invention. I will also reference Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist and maybe more depending on my budget.

digital art and rendering: For the final stage of my journey, I will venture into ctrlpaint. Simultaneously I will be reading How to Render, Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist and Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter

After that.... I don't know. We will see were I am in a year.

u/Kriss-Kringle · 2 pointsr/DCcomics

You need to pick up an anatomy book because right now you're inventing muscles and applying too many shadows until the whole drawing becomes visual noise and it doesn't read clearly.

First off, I'd recommend you study Figure drawing for all it's worth by Andrew Loomis. You can probably find a PDF of it online for free and it's not overly complicated for a kid to understand. Then, if you feel you want to stick with drawing in the long run convince your parents to invest in these books:

Atlas of human anatomy for the artist

Human anatomy for artists : The elements of form

Classic human anatomy: The artist's guide to form, function, and movement

Figure drawing: Design and invention

How to draw: Drawing and sketching objects and environments from your imagination

How to render: The fundamentals of light, shadow and reflectivity

Color and light: A guide for the realist painter

u/IndigoPisces · 2 pointsr/Watercolor

Hey just was thinking if you're learning

Is a fantastic book!

edit: fixed link that was posted on my phone

u/thinknervous · 2 pointsr/ArtCrit

Okay so those images are of an entire painting that is mostly warm and an entire painting that is mostly cool. I'm talking about the relationship between light and shadow within the same painting. Here's a better example:

In a given scene, there is at least one direct light source and at least one ambient light source. The shadows aren't simply the lack of illumination from the direct light source; they're lit up by the ambient light. In a sunlit scene, the direct light source is pure white (the sun), but the ambient light source is blue (the sky) and/or the color of the ground or other surroundings (for example, in the forest it might be green). Most of the surfaces not directly illuminated by the sun are illuminated by the ambient light, which means that in most settings the shadows will actually be cool. Even though the sun's light is pure white (if it's midday), because our eyes adjust to the blue ambience its light appears slightly yellow-orange (warm). A good rule of thumb is that most of the time, the ambient color is the complement of the direct light source. So, a cool light will cast warm shadows and a warm light will cast cool shadows. At a more advanced level it can become much more complicated than that, but this is enough to get you started. The main times you'll have a cool light source as your main light are when your subject is in the shade, indoors with natural lighting, or at night. Warm light sources are far more common, both in nature and in man-made settings.

For more information and examples, I highly recommend this book:

u/BasicDesignAdvice · 2 pointsr/learnart

check out James Gurney's book Color & Light. it's broken down into chapters based on different kinds of lighting conditions. creating distance in a landscape is addressed several times.

u/mynameischumpy · 2 pointsr/MLPdrawingschool

>I still don't understand how to make something "look trippy."

I suppose that was an oddish thing to ask of. I think it ganders an explanation. First step to working with colour is reading up on it. Purplekeckleon has a good guide on this subject. Or you could read some books on them. Colour is a difficult thing to cover. (and should be spelled colour)

Going back to keckleon, she plays around with colour a lot. example 1 [textures and colour] ( 2: more colour

I don't really have an exact explanation, about how you should use colour, but I suppose the best way to learn is to play around with it and see what works for you. As for texture, I can't say I understand it well enough to explain it. [](/ppnervous "Throw me a line here, viw!") What I understand is texture is the simulation of the feel of a surface, ie. grass, rock, wood. In your case it would likely mean the fur of on celestia or the shine on her tiara/horn. Basically getting the tiny details down.

>Am I making sense with all this?

No worries, you're making yourself pretty clear.

u/Livipedia · 2 pointsr/Art

I wouldn't critique this if I didn't like this-- so, disclaimer. I also realize it is a doodle, but you posted it on the internet, so I'm assuming you would like feedback.

A little more fluidity and variance in line weight would be nice. Your anatomy needs some work-- even if this is supposed to be stylized. The jaw is very square, more characteristic of a male face, and the eyes and pupils are not pointed the same directions (A good way to help with this is to look at the drawing in a mirror, ocular dominance can be a bitch). The mouth and the nose are too high up on the face and could be pulled down a little further. I don't think the lines for the clavicles were necessary-- they pull my eye away from the face. You did a really nice job shading most of the nose, but the rest of the face lacks structure and I'm not really sure where your light sources are going, especially with the reflections on the eyes. Maybe emphasize those a little more.

I did a really quick redline here to better illustrate my points.

Some good books to help with the fundamentals that are causing these issues:

u/thebestwes · 2 pointsr/MLPdrawingschool

This is only marginally related, but I want to jump in here to point out that James Gurney (the author of that article) is crazy awesome and if you like to paint you should absolutely pick up a copy of his book Color and Light. It's very well done and easy to understand, and I wish I had had it when I first started out.

Now that that's out of the way, I really like the humanization in the ways the ponies eat. It's made very clear that they're herbivores who eat flowers and things, but they make them into sandwiches etc. instead of grazing. That said, I do like the whole spectrum of anthropomorphization from "human versions" of the characters to even relatively realistic ponies.

u/MrHankScorpio · 2 pointsr/Art

I'm glad to hear that, though it's a shame to hear he's that sensitive about it. That's another reason I'd recommend against the gallery system (which I'm not a part of myself); many of my peers are and to be honest it's a very...unkind system.

I don't consider myself a sensitive artist but I deal with them on a regular basis so i understand your plight all too well. I might have an idea for how to help that. I recently bought this book, it's by James Gurney the author of the blog I linked to in the sub-comment of this. It could be an excellent christmas gift and at only $16 it won't break the bank. It's probably the single greatest book I've encountered about painting. It's succinct and well written and relies mostly on examples rather than big blocks of text. And if you decided to give it to him you could play it off pretty naieve like, "I know you like painting, here's a cool book about painting!" and probably not hurt his feelings.

Just an idea, might be a good way to circumvent the "sensitive artist" but still give him a good resource to improve.

In any case I salute your effort! Tell him to keep at it :D

u/co_samo · 2 pointsr/graphic_design

This book was created for painters, but this book is spectacular for learning how to mix color and use it well.

u/ParanoidAndroid67 · 2 pointsr/learnart

I would recommend Color And Light by James Gurney. This one is a really good book to just understand the principles of color and light used by traditional painters. You can extract lot of information from it to apply on digital environment painting.

If you'd like to check out art books, along with review and some images of the pages, check out Parka Blogs. This website has an extensive list of art books ('art-of' and instructional).

I would even recommend checking out some websites like


u/Gramnaster · 2 pointsr/LearnConceptArt

I think it's a bit difficult and unfair for me to comment based on one painting alone. Do you have any sketches (line drawing, preferably) of this painting, or anything that showcase what you can do so far? Almost everyone will suggest we start designing anything in line sketches, especially if learning, so I'm interested to see what you got :D

Edit: Since you're looking for advice on how to start, I'll just say a few things that might be able to help you start.

(1) Drawing, imo, is the very foundation of all art. I think before you start painting, you should start drawing first! Here are a few links that may help you start with drawing:

  • Art Fundamentals (Free, and pretty good)
  • Foundation Group (Paid, but pretty good)
  • Ctrl+Paint (Free and Paid. Both are pretty good)

    (2) I suggest you follow an art school's course outline so you can progress pretty well. Feng Zhu Design School has an outline that they use for their students to learn how to do concept art in 1 year (16 hours per day). You can also download a detailed version of what they offer in their course, then you can have an idea on what each component means.

  • FZD Course Outline

    (3) There are also a few books that would be really useful to you when learning how to draw and render. These are supposedly the best on the internet (I only have two, the first two books in the list) Here they are:

  • How to Draw
  • How to Render
  • Figure Drawing
  • Color and Light
  • Imaginative Realism

    I think those are all I have for you now. I'm not in any way a professional artist (I'm currently studying Industrial Design), but I think the above things I've mentioned should prove useful to you. If you have any questions, you can send me a PM :D Work hard and practise every day!
u/kirkisartist · 2 pointsr/painting

Oh cool, you'll have fun with color theory then. I recommend you check out James Gurney's book Color & Light. You should also study up on perspective. This is the only book I can recommend that won't make your life hell.

u/artistacat · 2 pointsr/learnart

Two resources you need to read on color: and

Lots of illustrations and examples, very easy to understand and yet both are no more than 250 pages. I have both of these books and they are great! I would also look at Cubebrush and Ctrl+paint. You need to definitely focus on color theory as well.

Along with learning these, also check out Andrew Loomis' books (Google Save Loomis to find pdf of his books for free). And this one -- >

But once your learn color theory and look at the resources I suggested, you will definitely improve on your coloring skills. Gurney's may be aimed at painters, but it's for everyone really. I can't give much advice since I'm learning color theory but these results have been very helpful.

u/PopsicleMainframe · 2 pointsr/zootopia

Even master artists feel like they don't know what they're doing. The more you learn, the more you realize is left to learn. There is no point where you go from someone who can't draw to someone who can. It's just something you keep getting better at the more you practice and study. Copying from reference is a great place to start, keep at it. and don't be afraid to ask for critique if you really get stuck.

Just do what you can now, and as you improve it will get more fun and less frustrating.

If you want some resources, here's some youtube channels that have helped me:

And also some books:

You could also check out and which both offer a more ridged lesson by lesson approach to learning to draw.

u/sasquatchinheat · 2 pointsr/Art

It's a great start! An underpainting is a really good way to bring out depth and variance in your colors and painting.

If you want a really good book on painting and color, check out this:

u/derek_the_deliman · 2 pointsr/Art

I have a degree in graphic design so it wasn't a huge career change for me. There's lots of overlap in terms of software/skills for both design and illustration.

As for tips, I would recommend learning about light and color. Even if you're doing pen drawings, knowing how to look at an object is just as important as anything else. [This was a fantastic book by James Gurney I always recommend.] (

u/nearlynoon · 2 pointsr/learnart

Juliette Aristides has two books on painting from WG: 'Classical Painting Atelier' is a good overview (and has a really good section of good artists in the back) and 'Lessons in Classical Painting' is sort of an expansion. Aristides teaches at NMA, for reference.

Also from the same WG series is 'Elements of Landscape Oil Painting' which is really good, and 'Portrait Painting Atelier' by Suzanne Brooker, also good.

Also I don't care who you are, if you don't already own 'Color and Light' by James Gurney, you are doing yourself a massive disservice.


u/YANN_LIFE · 2 pointsr/ArtistLounge

it's definitely not a natural thing, it is a learned skill. the problem is that most people don't know enough to understand and notice it, how it behaves and how it can be affected by everything around it.

this book is also incredible

even if you are not aiming to be a realistic painter, the excerpts are easy to understand and explains some very basic fundamentals in interesting ways.

check this free resource out.

lighting studies. understanding how light works really helps me imagine it on the i did this exercise for 2 weeks.

once you have watched the above video and memorize its contents, pick a simple cube with some good lighting, and try to complete an almost completed study in 30 minutes, at best as possible.

once you can do an accurate 30 min study accurately, move onto something more complex, like a sphere or a another subject. apply the same 30 min study rule, if you can do it accurately in 30 mins move on to other subjects.

rinse and repeat, and eventually you will gain an understanding of how light acts, so you can improvise with the knowledge.

u/XnFM · 2 pointsr/minipainting

They exist, but they're not particularly common anymore. I have Scale 75's Steampunk in Miniature, which has some good stuff in it, but it clearly wasn't proofread by a native English speaker so you have to work out what the author's actually mean here and there. I would assume the rest of their line is of comparable quality, but I currently only own the one.

James Gurney's Color and Light is a really good reference. While it's not about miniature painting specifically, it covers how shadows work in different lighting situations in a way I haven't seen in other references and the section on color theory seems pretty good (I'm only halfway through the book at the moment).

u/xucoalex · 2 pointsr/pokemon

Well that's a bit of a complex question. It all comes down to understanding how light works which is a thing you learn as you learn how to draw. If you pick up any decent book on drawing it is sure to cover this. One I can definitely recommend is Color and Light by James Gurney. Though it is geared towards painters, the principles are very much the same!

Here is a collection of quick tutorials as well. Please note some of these contain nude models as examples :P

Anyway I hope that helps!

u/RobertRoehrig · 2 pointsr/IDAP

Ah that's sweet, but you know what, light and color is a super complex's something I struggle with too every time I make a new painting, so don't be discouraged! If you haven't read Color and Light book by James Gurney, I would HIGHLY recommend it!

Haha I'm sure you're better than you think you are -- just keep at it! Thank you a ton! =)

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/MLPdrawingschool

Another great resource on light is James Gourney's book, worth every penny.

u/garg · 2 pointsr/learnart

This artist is color blind:

My suggestion would be to purchase Color and Light by James Gurney. Study it and then practice it.

Then do color studies. If you have photoshop, then try to reproduce a painting (something by the masters is preferable) by 'eye' and then once you're done, use the color picker on your painting and the original master painting and figure out the differences between the color you chose and the colors in the original. Don't get discouraged --- color is difficult for non-color-blind people as well!

Go and get the hue (H), values (B), and saturation (S) right in the color picker. Do this daily with different paintings and I guarantee that you'll improve a lot! :)

u/swishchee · 2 pointsr/furry

Thank you. The biggest help for me has been Color and Light by James Gurney

For the tech aspects of how to use photoshop, I used

To learn to draw, I used

u/toverbai · 2 pointsr/Art

"Artists can color the sky red because they know it's blue. Those of us who aren't artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we're stupid" - Jules Feiffer

I think I am understanding your question wrong. What do you mean by "systematic categorization knowledge-base"?

Not sure if this could help but this is a great book on color and light. From the artist behind Dinotopia. And his blog is filled with some amazing information and art links too.

Every artist should spend a little time on his blog.

u/WithLinesOfInk · 1 pointr/Illustration

Hey there. I think the shading could be simplified in its shapes, and also direction. Right now you have the highlights indicating the light is coming from all sorts of places: underneath her (arms) Front right (chest and legs), upper right (face and hair). Make sure you know exactly where your light source is and how it will hit her body.

The shadows also don't seem to make sense- they aren't conforming to the body shape and they don't reach the edge or wrap her form, so they just read as floating shapes.

It's a good start but I think you may want to take it back a step and really plot out/block out where everything is going to be in shadow and light. Also, this book is the best

u/Vylanius · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I'd greatly appreciate a copy of Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter used. Hell, I'd be happy with any art book on my wishlist.

Thanks for the contest. :3

u/I_am_godzilla · 1 pointr/DigitalPainting

I'm no master, however let me share my thoughts on this.

The cartoon-like outlines are actually the base on which a lot of paintings have been built. In fact, the full-sized under-drawing that an artist does before starting a full-scale painting is itself called a Cartoon *. So there's no need to step away from that, you need to push forward through it. Don''t stop using it, after all it's crucial for planing and making sure your drawings are proportionate.Do stop thinking in 2D. When you're shifting your gears, you need to start imagining your drawings as 3D object's forms and depth. If you're able to visualize your creations in 3D, then the edge/types of edges become clear to you. Yet, when you transfer your 3D visualization to paper, you're still left with something that feels like a cartoon: flat. The remedy to this is of course, as you and /u/firesion have mentioned : Light and Shadow. Without that, we wouldn't see forms at all. So proper understanding of how Light and Shadow work / interact with various types of materials would seem to be key to painting in a realistic manner. Sycra's Foundation of light and shadow series is a very good beginner's overview of this. If you would like to push your understanding further in this subject, I would strongly suggest Gurney's Light and Color book. It is an amazing resource regarding the relationships of light/shadow/colours. Your ruminations on the edges and outlines are good. However, you're avoiding the main part. If you're to paint realistically, then you need to stop thinking in lines. Lines don't exist. You need to start thinking in forms. The interactions of various forms in your painting will make the edges that will differentiate them.

As for the don't use straight lines in your work, I would say that depends on what you're trying to paint. If you were painting something architectural, I would say by all means to use lots of straight/ angled lines. But if you're planning on painting people or other organics, then lines would make your job very difficult. Most of your points basically would be ameliorated if you began visualizing things in 3D.

For your third and last point, there are many ways to call focus to your focal point in paintings. There are drastic value changes, using a more saturated colour, using a complementary colour to the rest of the colour scheme (if you were using an Analogous+complementary scheme, this would be an excellent way to drive home what the focal point is). And like most things,there isn't one "right way" to do it. It depends on what mood you're trying to convey in your painting.

I would have to disagree with the detail being higher in the focal point of the painting. While that is certainly an option, you're not restricted to that. A very common compositional technique to add depth is to put the focal point in the midground (between the foreground and background). However, by common sense, we're aware that obviously there would be more details in the foreground (which is closest to us), but we can keep the midground as the focal point by playing with light/colour/positioning (it will still have less contrast/ less details than the foreground. But because of the other factors, the viewer will immediately read it as the focal point).

Lastly, my own suggestion for you to gain a better understanding of how to paint realistically, and lights/colours, would be for you to do some master studies. Go find some old/new masters that you look up to, see how they approach this problem. Eye out the colours, try to understand their reasons for picking said colour. Recognize their composition choices. Notice how they're handing various edges and so forth. Try recreating a part or all of a painting. These are purely for you, so you can spend as long or as little time on these as you want. These can be messy (and often are). So it's imperative to remember that these will never be finished paintings, they're studies.

Good luck. :)

u/oohay_email2004 · 1 pointr/dailydraw

That sounds like a ringing endorsement!

Is this it:

I'm feelin' randy enough to buy it. Paperback good enough?

And damn dude, you're one of the best painters I've seen anywhere on reddit; and if you're learning from it...

u/Ophichius · 1 pointr/fo4

If you've got the time and resources to spare, try making maquettes. You can get modeling clay fairly cheap, and it can be incredibly helpful to throw together a quick maquette, chuck it under a lamp, and see what happens with the light.

If you want a great pair of books on light and form by a master painter, check out James Gurney's Color and Light and Imaginative Realism. His blog is worth a read as well, it's always informative and interesting.

If you want a more technical approach to lighting, How to Render is a fantastic technical examination of how light behaves on various surfaces. The associated How to Draw is an excellent technical book on perspective. Both are a bit dry and clinical, but quite excellent.

Anything by Andrew Loomis is also well worth picking up.

u/kempsridley · 1 pointr/Watercolor

Color and Light by James Gurney has a great section on understanding the importance of color theory with some very nice examples and it is easy to read/understand, as well as a lot of information on how to understand light/shadows. Not exclusive to watercolor but I think it is still a great resource. I haven't found a watercolor technique book I love yet, usually my go to for that is YouTube.

u/Rodc123 · 1 pointr/argentina

Que buena onda que hayas empezado. Como consejo, lo primero que puedo decirte es que identifiques que tipo de persona sos a la hora de estudiar. Si te resulta mas facil organizarte "solo" para estudiar, youtube y un par de libros de cabecera son todo lo que necesitas. Hay canales muy muy bueno y completamente gratis, te paso algunos.


Los libros que se sugieren ahora para empezar son estos:


Sí necesitas una mano, un buen taller de dibujo es lo tuyo, y la practica diaría. tenes que ser proactivo y curioso sin esperar a que el profesor te lo de todo.

Lo importante cuando uno se inicia en el dibujo es aprender a cuidar el trazo y controlarlo; despues estructura para no dibujar unicamente las siluetas que vemos y mientras vaz aprendiendo eso poco a poco vas a ir ganando fluidez en tus trabajos y confianza.

Muchos exitos

u/ozzilee · 1 pointr/photography

I haven't gotten around to reading it yet, but Color and Light: A Guide to for the Realist Painter seems to be very well regarded.

This video and the idea of gamut masking a limited color palettes really helped me.

I tend to shoot black and white a lot now though. Color is hard!

u/dead_painter · 1 pointr/ArtistLounge

James Gurney (of Dinotopia and Color and Light fame) has an excellent blog that provides tons of information on plein air painting and hand-made pochade boxes and easels.

He uses this sketchbook for most of his plein air work (watercolor, gouache and casein paints) It is small and versatile.

u/FuriousLynx · 1 pointr/FurryArtSchool

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (James Gurney Art)
This one is great for understanding color and is really good if you're going to use traditional media.

u/B00Mshadow · 1 pointr/IDAP

If this is your first attempt to step away from outline work I think you're doing a great job! I would maybe work your light and shade relationships to define the forms a bit more, but that may be a style choice on your part so disregard if so. Also, the brain looks a little flat compared to the rest of the piece. Get it a little wet?

I would also recommend getting ahold of James Gurney's book Color and Light. It was really helpful when I was trying to get away from outline work and I still reference it all the time. He explains things more with theory than being medium specific.

u/datgreenthumb · 1 pointr/drawing

colour and light

Figure drawing

IMO these 2 books should be in any artists collection

u/paxsonsa · 1 pointr/vfx

Color and Light - yes it's a painters book but the theory and ideas apply directly into compositing. (

Digital Compositing for Film - You are going to hear and read a lot fo stuff by Steve Wright. He basically is the man haha. This book is great because it teaches ideas no programs. EVERYTHING YOU COULD POSSIBLE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COMPOSITING IS IN THIS BOOK!(

For your last question, I did a while ago, i didn't work for them I worked with them. I now am employed by Prime Focus World.

u/scathsiorai · 1 pointr/furry

James Gurney's books are great. There's a couple ugly links for you.

Following artists on facebook has helped me more than anything. Well not more than putting in the time and effort to improve of course. Anyway, professionals are always posting advice and links to valuable resources. Its worth looking for artists that you like and seeing what their process is and how they solve artistic problems.

u/lunarjellies · 1 pointr/pics

Reeves is crap paint. Try using it up as a paint you sketch with rather than finishing a whole piece with it. The reason why economy (or student) quality paints such as Reeves are not so great (even for beginners) is because if you try to do any sort of color mixing with them, you end up with mud. Reason why is because the pigment to medium ratio is poor (less pigment and more fillers/mediums in the tube than a more pricey brand). I teach art classes to beginners and I am now requiring that they purchase artist-grade acrylics, oils or watercolours for class. Here's a bit of a shopping list for you... obtain the following: Golden-brand paint in these colours: Hansa Yellow Opaque, Quinacridone Magenta, Phthalo Blue (Red Shade) or Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber or Burnt Sienna, Zinc White and Titanium White. Also, pick up some Golden Acrylic Glazing Medium (Gloss) or Retarder Medium to mix into your colours instead of adding water. Adding water to acrylic polymer emulsion paints breaks down the paint, therefore resulting in a less saturated, washed-out or "dull" surface. You can mix water with watercolour paints, but try using acrylic mediums such as the glazing medium instead of water. The paints I mentioned and the medium will run you about $60-$70 depending on where you live (the stuff is cheaper in the USA). If you have any questions at all about art materials, please message me and I will answer your questions. I've worked in art supplies for a some years now and have extensive product knowledge about the stuff.

As far as composition goes, I get my students to use their own photographs only. The reason is because if you take photos off the net (even though you are giving your painting away this time around), the composition has already been solved for you, so you aren't learning much when it comes to that. Use your own photos and crop them using a viewfinder window to obtain a composition for your work. Oh, and also another good practice tip would be to sketch out at least 5-10 different compositions in thumbnail format in a sketchbook (using a pen or pencil or whatever you want). That way, you will have a nice little plan before starting on a canvas.

It is always best to draw or paint from life when you can, but when you can't get outdoors to paint, be sure to stick with your own photos (or composites even; you could do this in Photoshop and then print it out).

When mixing, do not use black. I say this because it is good to learn colour theory, and then make up your mind whether or not you'd like to use black to darken areas. Complimentaries create neutral grays, so for example: Red & Green, Blue & Orange, Yellow & Purple. Theoretically, you can mix equal parts of any two complimentaries and obtain black. Add white and you get grey. Zinc white is a good one to start with because Titanium White can be overpowering. Try mixing both whites together in order to create a "Mixing White" and then use that when tinting (tint = adding white to a color). Another little trick to obtain black (and subsequent grays) is to mix Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber. You can mix Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna to create a warmer black/grey.

And now, for some books that you simply must purchase and read through! I'm real picky when it comes to good art instruction books... so here are my recommended selections :)

Color & Light by James Gurney

Landscape Painting by Mitchell Albala

Composing Pictures by Donald Graham (Disney's art instructor for many years)

Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting by John F. Carlson - written in the 1920s, this is THE DEFINITIVE book on landscape painting. The man's writing is sharp, witty and to the point)

One more thing... failure and criticism from others (and yourself) are your friends. Failure will drive you to create better work, and criticism will help you know where you aren't doing so well. Praise is great, but it can be extremely dangerous because if too many people praise you and not many give suggestions then where are you at exactly? You won't know if you've made a mistake (especially if you are just starting out).

Quantity (and quality) are everything... paint paint paint! Paint one a week or even daily if you can! Create your next post on Reddit when you've completed 30 paintings. Seeing your progress would be nice. Start a blog to keep track of your progress. Also, try and enroll in a night class at your local art university/college. Take the basics like Life Drawing first.

Oh, and... paint for yourself, first and foremost. Do not give a shit about "is this going to sell?". Do not care. Just do it for yourself. And don't be afraid to create something out of your comfort zone (pure abstraction or something with shocking subject matter).

Good luck!

u/Soliloquies87 · 1 pointr/MattePainting

I'm late to the party, but I made a cheat sheet for my boss niece last week: here's all the ressources I can think of to kick butts at matte painting.

The sites where we pay per month

Gnomon Online School
Super school of vfx in California. They have on their site a lot of tutorials from 8 to 20 hours to learn to make your own camera projections. You can either pay (expensive but worth it) for a private class with a teacher via Skype. Or you pay (cheaper) for a bank of tutorials.

private lessons

the bank of tutorials[]=matte-painting

I recommend: All the tutorials of Dylan Cole (vol 1, 2,3), Camera Projection Techniques in Maya, Matte Painting Production techniques, etc.

Plural Sight (formerly Digital Tutors)

a site that has courses on a little everything. This site is very good when you want to learn new programs. Excellent serie on the 3D which becomes more and more present in the matte painting, and some tutorials

related to 3D

Quick start to modeling in Maya (volume 1,2,3)
Professional Tips for Modeling Complex Shapes

related to matte painting

Photo manipulation and Clean Plating Fundamentals
Matte Painting Basic and the Static Camera Shot

Sites where we pay per tutorial (Gumroad, etc.)

The tutorials of Anthony Eftekhari

Good DMP tutorials that show you the latest techniques and how to do it step by step.

The tutorials of Eytan Zana

More concept art, but the main lines apply just as well to the DMP.

Free sites and tutorials

Garrett Fry's blog

He also has a Facebook group that helps each other in DMP, it is THE technical reference for matte painting. His blog is full of technical stuff for camera projections (aka moving your matte painting). A treasure of information.


TEXTURES! (Or can we find good textures to make DMP)


Flickr (Matte Painting References)

Flickr (Matte Painting Resources) (paying a card)

Pictures of Jacek Pilarski

Books (yes yes, it's a thing)

Digital Matte Painter Handbook

it's old, the drawings are ugly, the photoshop stuff in it is pure candy though. Full of stuff in DMP that I have never seen elsewhere but that is the basis of the trade. Still actual today. The matte painting of the castle in is also an excellent starting point if you start from scratch.

How to draw and How to Render

Scott Robertson, a big shot of concept art, shows the basics of traditional drawings, perspective, etc. An essential.

Imaginative Realism and Color and Light

James Gurney is an illustrator who specializes in realistic fantasy artwork with traditional mediums, excellent cues on light and color

Nuke 101

We can make the projection of matte painting in Nuke or Maya. An excellent book for Nuke.

u/tylerjhutchison · 1 pointr/pics

This is looking really good! Keep it up!

I highly recommend you check out these books... they are something I wish I had read (or been available) when I was your age.

1)Color and Light: A guide for the realist painter

2)Imaginative Realism

These two books do a really good job of explaining some practical 'rules' for painting. You do not always have to follow them, but you should for sure know them and learn them.

3)Dynamic Light and Shade
This is just a book that is full of really great black and white drawings that that show how much can be expressed without any color. It is a great book to study from and to try copying images from.

u/Overtow · 1 pointr/Art

There are a number of color theory books out there but I'm not sure that will answer all of your questions. I have a copy of The Elements of Color that I reference often. The thing is, there isn't really one solid formula for mixing paint. It mostly comes through practice and understanding the physics of color and how colors shift in tone, saturation, and hue. There is some really good advice in this post already. I have a few other sources you might be interested in.

Wet Canvas has some great forums for people like us who need help with this kind of stuff from time to time.

The Dimensions of Color has a very thorough breakdown of color. It is extensive and a harder read than maybe you are used to. Take it slow. Read it a few times. Refer to it often.

Color and Light by James Gurney is a great resource as well. Be warned, that it isn't necessarily a "how-to" but it will give you insight into how a professional artist goes about his work. He provides insight on techniques and palettes and things like that as well as phenomena seen in nature.

Take a look at those. Best of luck.

u/KermitDFwog · 1 pointr/painting

One book that was surprisingly helpful for me was Art School: How to Paint and Draw. I actually got it in the bargain bin at a book store.

A couple other helpful books are Problem Solving for Oil Painters and Color and Light.

Also, if you have an art studio around, sometimes they have cheap beginners classes. I've found those to be quite helpful starting out.

u/shalis · 1 pointr/drawing

Might help if you specify whether you want tips for Traditional medium or digital? This is a tut for digital but you can apply the concepts to trad., here is a fun youtube vid as well. As for print material, I suggest buying/renting/borrowing "Color and Light" and the Hogarth classic on the same subject.

u/gray_rain · 0 pointsr/learnart

There are three things I would recommend to you. :)

  • This GIGANTIC page of info on color and light
  • Scott Robertson's How to Render
  • James Gurney's Color and Light

    You'll find that a lot of information on color out there is almost strictly theory oriented (not a big surprise considering it's called color theory), and there isn't much practical help on how to apply that information. Each of the things I just suggested are all very practical sources of information for learning how to work with color.

    Some things you should note, though...the Scott Robertson book is designed to build on top of his book How to Draw. That book teaches you perspective and how to create proper 3d forms in 2d space. How to Render builds on that by teaching you how light will interact realistically with those forms you now know how to create. If you don't want to work through How to Draw, that's fine (though I highly suggest that book as well)...but you'll probably be losing out on a fuller understanding of the concepts.

    Make sure that before you move too much into painting and color working that you can make well constructed drawings and can handle value properly. Those two are the most important. Why? Because if you don't have a proper looking drawing then no matter how well you can render and lay color over it...that won't save will still look wrong. And if you can draw well constructed things but you're weak in values, then you're really in trouble. If, when you lay down color, the values of those colors are wrong, then your well constructed forms that you drew will no longer read as the forms that they're supposed to because the "light" that's interacting with the form isn't interacting like it would in real life so your eye reads it as a different form than you intended.

    I understand that they style you're going after isn't at all realistic. On some of them the color that's there isn't even being used to's simply there as a graphic element. Which is fine! Really awesome style. But you will be well served if you put in the time to learn the technical application of light and color. That way, since you know the "rules", you'll have control over the color...when to use it realistically and how and when to use it graphically...rather than the color having control over you. :)

    Hope this helps! :)