n the digital painting class, we were asked to produce a concept for a adaptation of a novel or myth. I chose the classic novel by Lewis Carroll, Alice in wonderland and it was required of us to recreate a character, a creature and a environment. I chose to design The White Knight, Blue Caterpillar and The rabbit hole (with additional character, Alice).

caterpillar-richard-hadyn-alice-in-wonderland f042f43b2d422d11e80e5febb0a6fe70 hqdefault

I wanted to recreate the vibe and aesthetics of Wonderland by implementing the Film Nior style. Film Nior tends to set a vibe of mystery and suspense with the help of lighting, which is shown in every Film Nior painting and movie. Using a low key lighting it provides a sense of mystery with the help of shadows and lighting, making various figures unidentifiable. Each scene has a fog or smoke look to it which also provides a sense of suspense and mystery.
film_noir_lighting images noir-4031

Using big, stretched out shadows that tend to take more screen space than the actor lets the audience know that this character has importance’s to the story and they will be followed along the way. Bounce light is used heaps when it comes to film noir. You can see in these shots that bounce light has been used to effectively tell a story. These scenes make use of walls, ceilings, doors to reflect the light which helps soften up a scene. This helps provide enclosed areas such as the interior of a building with available light.

Hard-Shadows-600x855 index
In these pictures above, you can see that the brightest light is centered on the focus point. Although i plan on having my concept coloured these techniques will still apply. You can see below, the lighting still provides the same effect in these pictures.

27efa66302d3dee812a08396778b3c42 imagesdede index3332Here is how i have implemented my research into my design.

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 12.04.58 am.png

The light is in the corner of the scene bouncing off the objects that show importance to the scene. For example. The light is shining on the mushrooms which represents the crossover between two worlds (ours and wonderland). These mushrooms are important and because they are brighter colours than the rest of the scene, your eyes draw attention to them. Next is the silhouette/shadow in the window. This was a little added character and is supposed to be the Cheshire cat, which would also represent the crossover between worlds.

One thing i have learnt while painting the light is that it still needs to stay in perspective with the rest of the scene or it looks odd and out of place. I think i have applied Bounce light, but i would like to further my research on Bounce Light as it is something i haven’t thought about with previous drawings before.

fixed version!

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 10.45.05 am

Overall, what i have learnt during this painting is
.that Bounce light is also as important as the light source.
.The lighting used in film noir helps identify and raise importance to a character or Object.
. Shadows and Silhouettes enhance the mystery and mood towards the scene.
– Dull Colours are also needed to work on the vibe aswell.

(n.d.). Retrieved December 18, 2015, from
(n.d.). Retrieved December 18, 2015, from
12 Simple Ways to Bounce Light and Capture Better Portraits. (2014, July 4). Retrieved December 18, 2015, from


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