View Full Version : can someone give me an example of an object that glows...

05-01-2010, 08:04 PM
I want to learn how to paint something that glows behind it.

like for example say a flat 2d square/rectangle whatever and to have it look like a light is behind it

I'm a bit lost as to how to go about it.

it isn't as simple as laying in a "bright" highlighted shadow? a reverse shadow if you will.


05-01-2010, 08:24 PM
Can't think of any 2D thing that glows, when I saw the title first thing I thought of was a lightbulb or neon lights.
unless its something painted with glow in the dark paint or fluresecent colors or paint... but dont think you will get the effect your looking for.
sorry if I think of anything, will let you know.
what about a night light.. it has a small reflector cover which causes the glow behind it.

05-07-2010, 02:21 PM
What about a lamp? The lampshade should do the trick? Or am I not understanding?

05-07-2010, 02:30 PM
I like Kathie's neon light idea. So many ways you could go with that.

I had to create a glow with a painting once. It was really tricky, but I was able to get the affect by using a grey scale of my main color, thin lines from darkest to lightest ... took some work but I finally got what I was looking for, hope it helps.

05-07-2010, 03:26 PM
Not sure exactly what you are after, but going by what I read I would suggest this....

Use a book for your "object", stand it up on a table in front of a piece of fabric that is hung like a curtain (with no folds), on the backside of the fabric set a flashlight. Adjust the distance of the light to create a "halo" of the size you want to backlight the book. It might also be necessary to adjust the room light (both brightness & direction) in order to achieve what you want. When you've got it right take a picture (without a flash) & use that for your ref pic.

You might have to try several different types of fabric to get what you're after.

Hope this helps...can't wait to see where you are going with this.

05-07-2010, 03:28 PM
I just read your initial post...again. Now I'm even less sure that this is what you are after. :rolleyes:

05-07-2010, 04:35 PM
sorry, uh.. tough to kind of word this.

first off let me say that I'm approaching this from an abstract art view.

I have seen other abstract artist paint objects (be they circles, squares, etc) that LOOK like there is a light source coming from behind said object. - the "light source" is also painted as part of the painting as well..

not sure how else to 'splain it

05-07-2010, 07:06 PM
the only thing that comes to mind are the orange slices in the RIL. They are really gorgeous and the light behind them make them glow from within. But I am sure that is not what you are talking about. But it would make a great composition for you anyway. :^)

05-07-2010, 07:25 PM
how about an eclipse of the sun.

05-07-2010, 07:47 PM
ok, now I get what my problem is - yes I'm not explaining this correctly

when I say give me an example, I mean to give me a painted example, in other words I'm looking to try to learn the actual painting technique of how to go about doing it physically on the canvas (doing "it" refers to painting the actual image and the glow effect with paint on canvas)

I see my heading is not clear at all. sorry, LOL

05-07-2010, 07:48 PM
I guess what I'm really trying to say is, I need help in learning how to paint "light" period, then I think that would help me go in the direction I want.

05-07-2010, 08:21 PM
Well, this is the only thing I can think of that achieve's the effect I think you are looking for.

Hope it helps, I suppose abstractly it could be anything, doesn't have to be a lamp.

I wouldn't say a shadow as much as a 360 degree glow, really bright next to the object and fading out to darker all the way around it. So the most contrast would be the dark foreground object and a really bright outline fade-out to define it's shape.


05-07-2010, 10:59 PM
there ya go, wow that strikes me as extremely difficult to paint something like that.

05-07-2010, 11:19 PM
I have painted light in many ways but the best affect for me comes with the layering I mentioned earlier. Here's an example from a fantasy sunrise painting I did recently.


05-07-2010, 11:28 PM
here's the full painting if you want to see it in context.


05-08-2010, 12:55 AM
Hi Brian

Not sure this is what you mean. I do a lot of glow type paintings. This is a small surf Fin shiloute. The glow is behind. Hope it helps.

05-08-2010, 09:04 AM
I'm talking about the "glow" effect being painted in the actual painting itself.

thanks ibglenny - It looks like it would be a very slow tedious process of building up from white to solid color, but that is a great example

05-08-2010, 10:02 AM
Brian, I think you might be referring to a back lit subject or infused light. As seen in this painting: Three Persons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Three_Persons_Viewing_the_Gladiator_by_Candlelight.jpg)

For another example of a backlit subject have a look at Tim Packer's (http://www.timpacker.com/index.html)work, and Philip Howe's (http://www.artinstructionblog.com/caverna-magica-painting-demonstration-by-philip-howe)work and this tutorial on Infused Light (http://www.5min.com/Video/Painting-Lesson---Infused-Light-108319267)

Hope this helps

05-10-2010, 08:22 AM
from what i'm understanding you are refering to back lit subjects

wich to be honnest require just the same attention as any other lit subject

it is merely observing how light , contrasts , shadows , colour is behaving

it can go from extreemes of strong back light where the subject is a silhouette with little form , to lightly backlit where the lighting only picks out certain details like idividual hairs on animals and people whilst keeping all the subjects details

it is like any other painting concentration to your light source tones and colours is the biggest factor

05-11-2010, 02:25 AM
Brian, do a search for spray paint art, full of glowing objects. Here is an example http://www.spacepaintings.com/albums/album_image/1336694/736517.htm

05-11-2010, 04:00 PM
yes, that did come to mind, thanks for that link, maybe I'll mix spraying with traditional painting techniques.