Can you talk a space about your shadows and fade-to-white highlights? Do you just have a great intuitive understanding of how light interact with objects? If photo reference plays a role, what sort of a role? How about in your location/setting drawings? from mumblethief
Hey! Yeah, I definitely can talk about that. I try to never use photo reference for lighting. In the real world shadows are too complicated to make good lineart out of; and most of the effects that I like are very basic, single-light-source, high-contrast stuff. So yeah, I’m mostly relying on instinct. I do have a loose set of personal rules about how to light stuff so that it’s clear; for example, I try to pair hard shapes with organic shapes, like a venetian blind shadow on a human face, or tree foliage shadow on the flat ground. It looks good to have the bottom half of the panel darker than the top half, for whatever reason. Corners of rooms look good when they’re shaded a little darker than the rest of the wall (I don’t really know why). And other than that I’m just winging it.
In terms of location/setting, i rely on memory as much as possible for atmosphere and stuff, and then on photo reference for specific details. Household is set in the Upper 9th Ward of New Orleans, and was drawn using no photo reference, while another story, Backyard, is set in Mid-City, New Orleans and involved a tooon of photo reference. The effects are pretty different. I think the best compromise is to really study some photo and then do the final drawing without looking at the original. That way you’re blending the reality of the photo with whatever bonkers way your brain thinks the world is supposed to look.