by Mike Meth

Tips for Painting with Realistic Color and Light in Photoshop

Color is light and light is color, and the best way to translate what you see in real life to a digital canvas is to train your eyes to take in how values mix, merge and separate. That's the name of the game when it comes to painting -- traditionally or digitally -- and makes all the difference no matter how photorealistic or symbolic you want your art to be.

Mike Meth, a digital illustrator who teaches at The Kubert School in Dover, New Jersey, emphasizes the importance of listening to your eyes as you paint with a 12-minute demonstration on color and light. It doesn't matter if you're illustrating people or inanimate objects, understanding the way color and light meld is key to transforming what you see into a work of art. Practicing working through these concepts can add flesh to basic forms and take your painting to the next level.

See how your digital painting can benefit from a targeted way of thinking below:

This tutorial covers:

  •  Color value
  •  Hues
  •  Color temperature
  •  Ambient color