In Depth Post 4 – Backgrounds in Digital Art

What has been your most difficult mentoring challenge so far?  Why?

I honestly have not encountered any challenges with my mentor, Sarina. We have been communicating very well and I have had a great time connecting with her. We speak regularly on discord and solve problems efficiently. An example of this is when I felt sick before our third meeting. I asked to postpone it ten minutes to see if I would feel better by then. Sarina also felt sick before our fourth meeting, so she let me know and we postponed that meeting for the following day.

What is working well? Why?

My In-Depth project has been going great. I have been having a lot of fun practicing my art skills and getting to know my mentor better. The lessons have been well structured, and I have learned a lot. Sarina has been making great notes for each class as she talks (I take my own notes too), and these have been quite helpful, especially since they feature pictures and colour. Here are Sarina’s notes from our last two meetings.  


I have also been creating art that I am quite proud of during this project. During these past two weeks, I worked on two main pieces of art: a drawing of a crown and a Picture Music Video (PMV). I will explain both in detail below. 

Ranboo Crown 

During our last In-Depth meetings, Sarina taught me about colour theory and composition. I implemented a ton of those techniques into this drawing. For starters, since the lighting in this drawing is warm, I lit the crown with warm colours (yellow) and shaded it with cooler colours (green). I also learned about atmospheric shading, which makes an object appear to belong in an environment by bouncing colours off it. I shaded the crown green near the grass and purple near the allium flowers to simulate the background’s colours bouncing off the crown. I used foreground, midground and background. The plants are the foreground, the crown (aka the focus of the drawing) is part of the midground, and there is an ocean in the background that has colours fading away into the distance. I also used purple and yellow objects as the focus of the piece, both of which contrast each other nicely. 

Wilbur PMV 

I started working on this PMV long before the beginning of In-Depth, but I decided that it would be a great opportunity to practice colour theory. I chose four colour pallets for different sections of the animation using what I’ve learned from my mentor. 

The first image shows my blue colour pallet. It is a monochromatic pallet, which means the colours are the same hue (aka type of colour, in this case blue), but have varying values (darkness and lightness). My reason for choosing blue for the pallet is the following: 

I wanted to make a beautifully contrasted explosion in this section of the animation. Since I wanted to make the explosion red, orange, and yellow, I chose to make everything else blue as that would bring special attention to the explosion. This is because blue is opposite to these colours on the colour wheel. 

This colour pallet was pre-made, but I chose to use it in my PMV because it consists mostly of dark blues and purples but has vibrant reddish-pink accents. I feel like this striking colour combination is great to symbolize that the character is going kind of crazy. 

I haven’t drawn much for the other colour pallets yet, so I will explain them in my next blog post.

What could be working better?  How can you make sure this happens?

I have not encountered any huge difficulties during my learning so far. However, I have found it challenging to implement everything I’ve learned into my backgrounds. The main reason is that I simply don’t have the time or motivation to draw any more than I already am. I do not want to force myself to draw when I am not motivated, as that may result in more burnout later. I do want to implement everything I learned into a drawing, though, to make sure I remember! I can improve on this by thinking of ways to implement smaller strategies into the drawings I’m already making. These drawings include my PMV and all drawings I do for fun. If I can find creative ways to implement such strategies into them, I can put every single strategy I learned to use!