Darkening the Image

The Apply Lighting effect is found under Effects > Surface Control menu. One would think that with the name Apply Lighting, the effect could be used only to lighten a painting, but I actually use it more often to darken a painting. I also use it to add an even gradient of color to layer in a painting.

One problem with the Apply Lighting effect is that we cannot apply it to a transparent layer. This makes it difficult to use in a multi-layered painting. Nonetheless, the effect is a valuable tool, and a work-around for the transparency issue is worth the effort.

Using Apply Lighting effectively in a multi-layer painting requires deciding exactly what parts of the painting need the effect. In this painting, we will apply the effect to the background. We will use only those layers that are part of the background.

1. Select the Background layer.

2. Duplicate the layer.

3. Select the layer with the wallpaper painted on it.

4. Duplicate the layer.

5. Shift-click the Duplicate Background and Duplicate Wallpaper layers. Both layers are selected.

6. Collapse the two selected layers into one.

7. With the new background layer active, choose Surface Control > Apply Lighting from the Effects menu.

8. In the options box that opens, choose the Warm Globe lighting scheme.

9. Move the light indicator so the smaller of the two circles is positioned at about ten o'clock, with the larger circle at about four o'clock.

The edges of the background are darkened, adding to the illusion that the candle is lighting the scene (Figure 5.8).

Figure 5.8 The edges of the Background layer are darkened using the Apply Lighting effect.

We could delete the two original layers, but it is usually a good idea to keep them around just in case we need them somewhere down the line, so hide it and lock it, and the walls are finished for the moment.

We need to add a shadow under the sleepwalker character. We can do this in a number of different ways, but one of the easiest is to use an oval selection.

1. Create a new layer.

2. Pick the Circular Selection tool, and drag a long and thin oval selection on the new layer below the sleepwalker.

3. Use the Selection Adjuster tool to position the selection under the sleepwalking character.

4. Fill the selection with very dark blue.

5. Deselect the layer.

6. Blur the shadow using the Soften effect in the Effects > Focus menu. Set the amount of Soften to about 20.

7. Use the Layer Adjuster to fine-tune the placement of the shadow.

Of course, we can paint a more realistic shadow, but this simple one is perfectly adequate for the style of the painting (Figure 5.9).

Figure 5.9 A shadow has been added to the floor, on a new layer, beneath the sleepwalker.

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