Visual Storytelling with Color and Light: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Visual Storytelling with Color and Light

1st Edition

By Michael Humphries

CRC Press

248 pages | 234 Color Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415720649
pub: 2019-11-05
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Though digital technology will continue to advance the way art is created, traditional mediums and techniques will remain fundamental to creating art. This holds true for gouache, (opaque watercolor}, acrylic, and many other mediums. Traditional mediums have had a hand in the creation of some of the most stunning backgrounds in animation, and a favorite of top illustrators for decades. Michael Humphries’ Visual Storytelling provides step-by-step techniques that will help readers better understand color theory, composition and lighting, both traditionally and digitally. Visual Storytelling illustrates and analyzes numerous Disney visual development and animation background paintings that provide the reader a greater insight as to how these paintings were created, and how they were instrumental in the creation of the worlds most successful and beautiful animated movies. Through analysis and demonstrations, Visual Storytelling features the Disney studios traditional approach and Photoshop techniques that will give readers a well-rounded view of today’s digital and traditional practices.

Key Features

  • Teaches and demonstrates the critical components in creating stunning visual development and concept artwork, and art direction for entertainment.
  • Provides art students and professionals that mainly work with computer animation, techniques that will enhance their artwork and portfolio.
  • Offers demos in gouache and acrylic, as well as Photoshop sessions, giving the readers a better sense of how to create and prepare their artwork for the animation, film and entertainment industry.
  • Contains beautiful, yet practical imagery that gives the reader not only technical guidance, but
  • valuable information to the animation industry as well as artistic inspiration.
  • Table of Contents

    Dedication and Acknowledgments


    Chapter 1: Introduction: A Little Background

    Chapter 2: Professional Applications: Art Direction and Visual Development

    Chapter 3: Elements of Design: Understanding Basic Principles

    Chapter 4: Values First: Lighting the Scene

    Chapter 5: Materials and Methods

    Chapter 6: The Focal Point: Creating the Stage

    Chapter 7: Atmosphere: Setting the Mood with Color and Light

    Chapter 8: Creating Style: Designing "The Look"

    Chapter 9: Taking it Outside: Plein-air gouache demos

    Chapter 10: Playing the Field: Creating Art for Prints and Licensing


    About the Author

    Michael Humphries has had a distinguished career in illustration and animation as a background artist, visual development artist, and art director for many of Disney Feature Animation Studios films including: Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Great Mouse Detective, The Rescuers Down Under, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Fantasia / 2000, and The Princess and the Frog. Michael was also nominated for an Annie Award as the Production Designer on Sony Pictures Animations first feature length animated movie Open Season.

    He resides in Pasadena California where he teaches entertainment art at ArtCenter College of Design.

    Please visit his website at:

    Subject Categories

    BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
    PERFORMING ARTS / Animation