A series of paintings that demonstrate the way light reacts on several surfaces from my Schoolism coursework with Sam Nielson’s Advanced Lighting course. If you are not familiar with Schoolism, it is an online school with classes being taught by working professionals. Each course consists of nine lessons that are made available to watch every week. There is a week given to finish the assignment. Once submitted, the teacher will screen record his/her critique, which is typically anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes of highly detailed information where you can watch your teacher paint directly on top of your original image. While doing so they explain what was successful and what needs improvement.
Each assignment was given in a vector or line form with a few having spot color to direct a color choice. Specifically, the water image (lesson 8) had a painted background with an empty water canal. The assignment was to paint a stream and match the style of the existing piece. I have left out assignment 7, “Light in Atmosphere,” because I submitted my own design for him to critique and feel like it distracts from what Sam teaches.
Sam is a fantastic teacher because he has broken down the course into a very easy to understand thought process. The first image demonstrates the first assignment and the core understanding of how he paints. As he states in his lectures, paintings are approached as if they were a model in a 3D rendering program, building up passes like occlusion, direct light, fill light, bounce light, etc. With the same concept, he develops a painting process capable of understanding more elaborate and complex pieces like the last image.
Out of respect for Sam and his work, I am trying to limit myself to all of the fantastic information he provided the students. However, I can not express in words how beneficial this course has been to my work. I continuously find myself going back through my notes for his words of wisdom. His feedback was more than just helpful. It was direct, precise, and motivating to see the changes that could improve my work.
I would highly recommend taking this course and checking out Sam Nielson’s work.