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Hey all,

This is probably a very amateurish question, but I've always wondered how certain artists capture a colored light quality in their work. Kelly Murphy comes to mind as the best example (she's one of my favorite illustrators), but I've seen a variety of illustrators achieve this effect as well and I tend to gravitate toward their work. Is it a colored underpainting (i.e., laying in lighter colors so that some of the color shows through in everything on the page), a glaze of the preferred color afterwards, or mixing a little of that color into all of the other colors applied (probably the most time consuming of the three)?

Here is the type of effect I'm talking about:
http://www.kelmurphy.com/images/kelly-murphy-gallop-o-gallop-5.jpg

I've painted a night scene before and went about it the third way mentioned above. It seems like there must be a better, more consistent way of achieving the same effect!

:-) Beth
#1 - February 10, 2015, 01:16 PM

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You might try a painting using a very limited color palette.
#2 - February 11, 2015, 08:15 AM

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Covering you entire page with the base color you want helps set that up effectively. In other words, don't start with a white piece of paper because then your light will be white. But if you change that white to a light blue, like the example you showed, then the brightest color will be blue and it will cover all aspects of the painting.

Does that make sense?
#3 - February 11, 2015, 09:43 AM
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That makes sense to me. A blue underpainting is probably how I'd do it, too, I think.
#4 - February 11, 2015, 10:08 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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Underpainting is the best way to achieve a glowing light. And you know the saying about how to get to Carnegie Hall? That, too. ;)
#5 - February 11, 2015, 10:35 AM
patreon.com/wendymartin
Animal Totem Mandala 2016
The Story Circle 2016 (PiƱata)
Color and Conjure 2017 (Llewellyn)

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Ha, Wendy! Thanks for the advice, everyone!
#6 - February 20, 2015, 10:31 AM

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What medium are you using to paint? Every medium has different methods.

Gurney Journey has some awesome posts about how colored light will affect your colors: http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/search/label/Lighting
#7 - February 24, 2015, 06:27 PM

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I usually work in acryla gouache. I will check out Gurney Journey. Thanks!
#8 - April 03, 2015, 11:28 AM

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In the painting you linked to, I'd say she used a very light blue-green tone for the whites plus an overall very limited palette: blue-green & red.
#9 - April 04, 2015, 06:19 AM
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