Mood Lighting

  • Software:Photoshop CS6  ·
  • Difficulty:Beginner

Rules of the Exercise

  • 1
    Download and open the practice worksheet for this exercise.
  • 2
    Practice lighting scenarios rather than relying on a standard lighting to create characters in
  • 3
    Be sure to execute the difference between each lighting scenario and showcase your understanding of the task at hand.
  • 4
    Submit your work for this exercise under the "submissions" tab.


  Let's take a look at something we haven't done before. Let's take a look at creating mood and a "temperature" through the colors you choose and how you place the lighting. This is heavily inspired from a short film, the Dam Keeper, you can watch the trailer HERE to see what I'm talking about. The short has such a focus on color and lighting that it is bursting with life. Even though a more brush stroke finish, you can feel the different environments and lighting though their careful use and choice of color to represent a lighting scenario whether it's a sunset or early morning. Below is the the exercise practice sheet with one of our original characters from the game we created a while back called "Eat Sheep" The forms on this sheep are simple and meant to be shapular to help you focus on the placement of light and color rather than intricate detailing on the subject matter. The 3 lighting scenarios are: Warm, Cool, and Dramatic. For warm try working with more warm colors and the name states, so oranges, yellows and browns may be the right fit while for cool try working with more blues and purples. For dramatic lighting you can have fun with a crazy lighting scheme (lava from underneath) or something where it's lit from one spotlight and is causing heavy cast shadows. You decide on this one! Below is the practice worksheet that you can download! You can find this on the "Downloads" tab under the header image near the top of this exercise! Exercise_35_PracticeSheet This can prove to be difficult initially but once you've done it a few times you know which colors work best for which lighting scenario and you become comfortable and confident in being able to do it on a whim. Having this skill set is important for those looking to get into animation concept art or storybook illustrations!

- The Results Update:

  Hey everyone, glad to see so many took the opportunity to create their own spin on this exercise.This sheep (let's call him Cal) is a great example of a subject matter that is heavily formed with shapes and you can then practice lighting on top. You can almost think of each "puff" of wool on Cal's body as individual spheres. The head itself is also more round and spherical like while the legs are cylindrical and the ears more flat. The one thing I really wanted to show is that in my "dramatic lighting" I used cooler lighting in the shadows against the contrasts of warm light in the slim bar of lighting, presumably from a door or gate shutting. This contrast gives more interest than if I just did warm shadows alongside the warm lighting. Exercise35_Results When you finish the exercise, remember to submit the result to the "Submissions" tab near the top of this exercise. You can see other submissions alongside your own!