Light for Visual Artists: Understanding & Using Light in


Light for Visual Artists: Understanding & Using Light in Art & Design An introduction to the use of light for students and visual artists, this is the first book to look at the way light can be used to create realistic and fantastical effects in a wide range of visual media The first part of the book discusses the fundamental properties of natural and artificial light, shadows, the interaction of light on different types of surfaces, reflections, as well as transparency, translucency and the effects of light on colour In part two, the author concentrates on people and the environment, looking in detail at how to observe the effects of light to create realistic images In part three the author looks at the creative use of light in composition and design, for creating moods or setting a scene Clearly written by a practising illustrator, and featuring hundreds of illustrations and screengrabs, as well as practical tutorials, this is a valuable resource for students, animators, digital illustrators, painters or artists working in any medium


7 thoughts on “Light for Visual Artists: Understanding & Using Light in Art & Design

  1. Commenter007 Commenter007 says:

    This book methodically works through all aspects of lighting It s a serious subject full of physics and technical whys and how comes There s a lot of facets to light Altogether it s a really difficult subject to tackle and I totally commend Richard for having a go at it Be clear, he s not failed in what he set out to do take a challenging subject and do a reasonably good job of covering it, bit by bit, thoroughly.Having said all that, I ve rated the book at 4 stars, not five I tried to read this book several times before I finally managed to read it from cover to back, which I ve now done and this is what my review is based on.My problems were three One A dense visual subject described using lots of words just didn t help a visually orientated individual like me.Two The images, while colourful and kept simple, could have been made of.Three I think the key issue with the book is that it s actually skewed toward 3D animators modellers, rather than for artists who paint and draw I ve done some 3D environment modelling involving lighting scenes, so feel qualified to make this judgement I have a foot firmly in both camps As evidence of the skewed nature of the book, I offer firstly, the fact that only RGB is discussed when it comes to colour RGB is the computer way of mixing colour because it is how light is mixed the book explains this RGB is no good for painters secondly the images which are not 3D models are rather poor and amateurish very much second place to the 3D modelled images Thirdly looking at Richards website, what is he A 3D modeller.Despite already understanding something of light, this book lost me at times and I don t feel I absorbed parts of it simply because it was hard work to digest I don t feel like revisiting it either I have another current book by a painter which is much easier to read and is relevant to artists who paint and draw in my view I wish I d found that one first and not bothered with this one tbh.There seem to be very few books available focussed on the subject of light for artists so if you want to study light, and are prepared to study it, then this Textbook is worth tackling It ll be interesting to see if I do refer back to it once I ve recovered.


  2. R.T R.T says:

    I m an animation student, looking to specialise in pre production This is probably my favourite textbook of all time I m the kind of person who needs to understand something before I can apply it to my own work, and this book gives really clear, simple explanations about the science behind light and how this affects how an object may look It s basically a science textbook written for dumb artists like me who couldn t understand physics back in school I would highly recommend any learning artist reads this lighting is how you show an object s form and structure without relying on lines, if you don t learn it your art will look flat and unrealistic unless that s how you want your art to look, but even then I would still argue that you got to learn the rules of lighting first before you break them.


  3. Per O. Per O. says:

    I bought this along with several other art theory books to better understand fundamental principles in art Light and colour is definitely among the important subjects.Things that were previously mysterious to me reflections on surfaces, shadows and colours of shadows, translucense, bouncing light et al are now much tangible Understanding such concepts has helped me tremendously with my digital art, both in depicting mass realistically and maximising the use of my photo references.If you already own books such as color and light by J Gurney, know that this is well worth picking up as well, as it describes many important principles very succinctly, to help you know it in yourself and referencing it when you need to.Highly recommended for students and quite possibly professionals or even teachers as well.


  4. Julie Artist Julie Artist says:

    This is fantastic book and an absolute must have for anyone serious about improving their art The chapters are easy to dip in to, and the information clearly explained along with a feast of stunning visual examples Understanding light is one of the foundations to great art, so really studying this book can only aid improvement There are few books that will become classics, but I feel this will be one of them and should be required reading for all art students.


  5. owen owen says:

    Beautiful Just a really beautiful book, lovely layout Fantastically well communicated Takes what could be a dry subject and grounds it in everyday life.As there is no CG content, this book is purely about observing the behaviour of light I d recommend it to any artist.


  6. R. R. says:

    Stunning book that makes this complex book easier to understand It s a must for any visual artist Even helped me when it came to doing a studio photography project Made me start observing the outside .


  7. Player 10 Player 10 says:

    I ll give 5 stars to this book because I m learning a lot about light s behavior.Very easy to understand and entertaining.I recommend this book to all artists designers, or simply anyone who is curious about this subject.


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