Fantasy Environment

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  01 January 2014
Fantasy Environment

Hello everyone,

I'm trying to get better at painting environments. This is an attempt at creating a fantasy city in a valley. I would greatly appreciate any thoughts on how I can improve it, especially the mountains and the houses. Thanks!

  02 February 2014
What you have looks pretty good. Are there any areas you're particularly unhappy with?

I do find the blue cast on the mountains further away kind of inconsistent with the overall lighting scheme. Your form/cast shadows are facing away/blocked from your main light source (the sun), so that means the blue of the sky is bounding onto all shadow areas equally (in general), so we should be seeing blue color cast in your form/cast shadows even in the foreground too (and that also provides more interesting color contrast of warm vs. blue throughout your scene).

Last edited by Lunatique : 02 February 2014 at 04:05 AM.
  02 February 2014
Hi Lunatique,
Thanks for taking the time to comment!
I was having the most trouble with the mountains and getting them to look right. Others that I've shown the painting to have also mentioned that the lighting needed some adjustment. I didn't really like how the plants in the foreground turned out, either. So, I tried to fix those issues in the latest version below:

  02 February 2014
The changes are nice. The tonal composition is much stronger now with the more directional lighting.

It seems like some of your form and cast shadows don't match in terms of value coherency. The gist of the idea is this: Let's say you have one area that has the lit side with the value of 3 (0 being white, and 10 being black), and your form and cast shadow is about 7, that would mean there's a 4 level difference in value. But in other areas, the difference in values would fluctuate wildly, creating an inconsistent look. (Of course, this does not take into consideration some phenomenons such as atmospheric perspective or radiosity, but even then, most of your values need to be coherent.) Some of your cast shadows' position seems inconsistent too. There's a specific formula to casting shadows correctly, and if you've never studied this, I highly recommend you get the book Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis--it's a classic book that teaches this stuff. Or, you could try searching the web for tutorials on how to cast shadows properly in perspective.
  02 February 2014
Thanks for pointing that out to me. Now I can work on making things look more consistent. And thanks for the book recommendation. I'll definitely check it out.
  02 February 2014
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