Instructables
Picture of How to Draw Light
A cross media approach to drawing light and glow for artists and illustrators. 

The great painters of the Renaissance period are best known for the way they were able to capture spiritual scenes which seemed to glow with internal light. But you don't have to be inspired by the numinous to want to capture light effects in your renders, perhaps you just need to capture how sweet that concept car looks with it's purple under glow, or you really enjoy designing lighting fixtures and want to have a good image of the completed product. 

Before you get started you'll want to first have a basic understanding of light and shadow, and understand the techniques for laying down your choice of media. 

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Step 1: Anatomy of a light source.

When you are drawing a light emitting object, you are actually drawing two things.

1. The light source itself. 

2. The 'aura' that the light source is emitting. 

Practice making soft and hard transitions to create layers of luminous light source and light aura. For this simple tutorial I'm showing mostly examples of light in space, in more complex drawings you will usually have your light source interacting with other objects in the image. When your light source is casting light onto other objects, the color of the aura will reflect off the surface of the objects. 
Kewigirl9 months ago
I have been having a lot of trouble with the light concept and this has really helped me.
Thank you
SimpleMikey9 months ago
I'm not an artist, but I, too, appreciate an artist who depicts light in a realistic way. This seems like a very thorough treatment of an important subject.

BTW, +1000 Internet points for appropriate use of "numinous"!