Learn to master color and light in your illustrations

Gain insight from some of the best artists in the industry - Will Terry, and special guests Jake Parker and Ty Carter. Together these teachers explain complex concepts regarding color, light, and shadow and how to re-create the illusions of various lighting situations in your paintings. 

The concepts taught in this class are universal to all mediums from Oils to digital and acrylics to watercolors. 

Being able to draw is only the first step, adding color and light can make your illustrations luminous and dynamic. Many of our students have said things like, "My work is flat" or "I can't seem to get the same colors you do" or "how do you make everything so luminous?" Well, look no further because this is the class you've been trying to find!

In this class you will learn:

  • How to identify different lighting situations.

  • Light & Shadow - Choosing best lighting directions, types of light for mood and appropriate situations (spotlight, vs ambient), choosing types of light sources to enhance your illustrations with communication and interest, types of shadows and shadow behavior.

  • Choosing colors, accent colors, muddy colors, when to use neutral colors vs saturated color.

  • Lighting for time of day, objects lit with half light/half shadow, 3 types of light sources (off camera, on camera, hidden), lighting for mood, how atmospheric perspective effects edges, value, & color.

  • Review of some student artwork and useful advice on how it can be improved.

  • Working with colored light - Painting demos of different colored light/time of day on same subject matter.

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About the Instructor


Will Terry

Will Terry has been a freelance illustrator for 26 years. He got his start working for magazines and newspapers in the Washington D.C. area. His early clients include publications such as Time, Money, WSJ and ads for Sprint, Pizza Hut, Fed Ex, and Master Card. He has illustrated about 30 children’s books for a number of publishers, including Random House, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, and Penguin. When he's not mountain biking, hiking, or snowboarding he works out of the svslearn.com office in Provo Utah. 

Who should take this course:

Ideal for children's book illustrators, animators, comic artists, graphic novel artists, cover artists, etc. Though the class is presented digitally, the same principles carry over into traditional art forms.

Students should be familiar with the fundamentals of color and value.

We suggest taking the following classes first:

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Understanding Light and Shadow

    • 1 intro

    • 2 How Light Works

    • 3 Types of Shadows

  • 2

    Using and Collecting Reference

    • 4 Photo Reference

    • 5 Altering your reference

  • 3

    Lighting Situations

    • 6 Lighting Situations

    • 7 Reflected colored light

    • 8 Colored Light Sources

    • 9 Light Placement

    • 10 Optical illusion

  • 4

    Demo Lessons on Light

    • A Blending Paint

    • B Demo Backlighting

    • C Demo Dappled

    • D Demo Light Beam

    • E Demo - Sub surface scattering

    • F Student Paint Over

    • G Demo - Moon Light

    • H Demo - Mid-day Sun

    • I Demo - Backlight sun

    • J Demo - 3D Paintover

  • 5

    Supplemental Video Lessons from the Original Class

    • Jake Parker - light sources

    • Ty Carter - Atmospheric Perspective

    • Ty Carter - Mood

    • Ty Carter - Value

    • Ty Carter Critiques

  • 6

    Homework Assignments

    • 1 Homework

    • 2 Homework Extra Credit

  • 7

    Illustration Downloads

    • All Illustration and photo reference download images

  • 8

    Homework Downloads

    • All Practice images and homework images

    • Painting Color & Light workbook (1)

  • 7

    Hours of HD video instruction

  • 1

    PDF workbook of assignments

  • 2



Painting Color & Light 2.0

Erin Cortese

I had big hopes for this course, and it delivered. The lighting demos were invaluable and the assignments were a great extension for applying the concepts. F...

Read More

I had big hopes for this course, and it delivered. The lighting demos were invaluable and the assignments were a great extension for applying the concepts. For me this was the "Aha!" moment that I have been waiting for.

Read Less

Really enjoyed this course. Helps to explain how Terry ge...

Dorna Diven

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