Landscape Sketching with Nathan Fowkes

Colour and light design will of course be very important in the user experience. The quick colour and light that I painted over my 3D renders still feels very unnatural and doesn’t capture the best mood and quality of light that the scene could have. I saw the video above on Bobby Chiu’s channel and really love the quality of light that Fowkes creates by layering of textured light over less saturated hues.

  • Primarily in nature the beauty is in the greys – warm and cool greys.
  • Paint the colours in the way that they really exist e.g. lay down the warm local colours and then paint over with the cool shadows.
  • The deep shadows are almost always a deep warm colour e.g. the crevice in a log.

For this scene with backlighting and a warm sunset:

  1. Start with vibrant warm tones.
  2. Start to apply greys, letting the highlights and brightest tones shine through.
  3. Add subtleties to the darker tones.
  4. Apply light over the forms.


Image from Fowkes’ DeviantArt journal:

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