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Painting with light

In this tutorial you will learn how best to subtly integrate light and colour into a photograph. The goal when adding light digitally to any photo should be the same - to make it look convincing; as if it were actually there when the photo was taken. Here you'll learn how to achieve this effect by adding light and making it not only project from the source, but also to affect the objects that surround it.

The inspiration for this image comes from a photograph taken of Picasso in 1924. Picasso was photographed 'painting' a quick sketch in mid-air in a darkened room with a torch, and the image was composited with a shot of Pablo in a studio to create the effect of painting with light.

In this tutorial we pay homage to Picasso, using a studio-shot portrait and a little Photoshop magic. Scanned spray paint will add an organic edge to the piece and give it a more dynamic, hand-made feel. The same goes for the writing - do it by hand! Try to utilise Photoshop fully using scans and working them into your image.

The colours you use to create this image are of utmost importance. Towards the end of this tutorial you should keep in mind that the colour scheme is made up mostly of blues, but adding subtle pinks and purples will really make the image more vivid. Small details such as this can really make a good piece of work stronger still.

Click here to download the tutorial for free