Several people have asked me how I paint, or how I know what to do.
I won't claim to know it all, because this is about lifelong learning after all,
and there are other painters better than I, but as a new matte painting
professional currently working on my 2nd and 3rd feature films, I'll share
my outlook on it. I think the biggest thing other than being a
drawer too, is understanding and observing light, constantly
thinking in terms of gradients when I shade/paint, remembering that everything goes
from dark to light, and how to use the dark to reveal light. I've put
together a couple illustrations to try and help those who are trying to get
their heads around this subject. Hopefully it helps you get better.
So, if you take the illustration above as an example, the range from 67% - 70%
brightness is your midground area. If you want to paint a rock, plant or
any other object in that area check your HSB slider and make sure
the B level is in that range, and the object will sit nicely in the painting.
Sometimes, especially in exterior paintings I see people jump values/brightness percentages
too quickly and it makes your eyes tell your brain that something isn't quite right.
Hope this information helps some of you folks.
All the best,