Shedding Light on my Step by Step Process of “Running”

Light adds such a distinct atmosphere to any illustration. Ever since I’ve been introduced to the works of Robert Kondo and Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi, I appreciated it even more, so I incorporate what I have learned and what I love in lighting to my artworks (and even the photographs I take!)

For this week, I will be sharing a GIF on my step by step process on my artwork entitled Running.

Years ago, they were running at the back of her grandfather’s home in the province. Now, they are still running but this time, the girl has become a woman and the pup has become a wolf. Until the calendars fall and the clock doesn’t strike anymore, they will persist in being the best of companions.

You will be able to see how I colored it and eventually adding the element of light.

Here it is!


This was done in 2014. I started with the base color and added the shadows and highlights (depending on where I’ve placed the light source in the illustration). I love having the textures of brushes and strokes in my work, so I put them afterwards.

For the finishing touches, I color areas of the line art where the light directly touches (in this case, it’s the girl’s arm, nose, and hair.)

Lastly, there’s adjusting the levels and curves to get the atmosphere, intensity, and saturation that I want the illustration (with its accompanying story) to convey. If not through levels and curves, I create a vector for the light, change the blending mode, and erase parts of it with a soft brush.

How about you? How do you do some of your digital illustrations?

Although this is one process, I find that over the years, I’ve been doing other approaches like instead of having line art, I use the lasso tool in Adobe Photoshop. Sometimes, I simply use a brush to create a shape or the pen tool too.

There are many approaches and techniques we can use – we just have to find the best one for a certain illustration and the message it wants to share.

In regards to light, it depends on how intense or subtle you want it. I still have little knowledge and experience with painting it; hoping I could enroll in Robert Kondo’s and Dice Tsutsumi’s class on Schoolism someday!

To end this entry, here is a quote from playwright and short story writer, Anton Chekhov:

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.

It’s one thing to write or paint that the moon is shining but to show its effect, influence, or touch to a person or object is a task more challenging. Moreover, it adds more details and information to the viewer.

This is why I love light and what it represents.

Everything and everyone an be touched by the light.

In art and in life.

4 Replies to “Shedding Light on my Step by Step Process of “Running””

  1. Arli, I love your new (?) website! I can’t believe I’m only rediscovering it now. I’m sure you’re aware of how gifted you are with words and art, but I hope you’ll always find reasons to keep on creating. Cheering for you! >:D<

    1. Thank you, Ate Mikee! I launched it earlier this year but used a newer layout a few weeks ago to make it look more organized. The first one didn’t look easy to read or navigate. Haha! Thank you for your kind words, Ate Mikee, and for your encouragement. I hope that I’ll be able to be a good steward of God’s gifts. May you and I both find reasons to keep on creating, indeed! Keep writing, Ate Mikee, and keep being present and in awe of the places you visit, the adventures you take, the people you meet and the people around you, and the many food you get to share with us (including ramen). Haha! Thank you again! I truly feel blessed to have connected with you again! 🙂

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