I really like Assassin’s Creed concept illustrations. This one looks great to me.
I’m really trying to understand how to light an image for costume presentation. All the prevailing information claims that a single light source is important. In this image, I can identify at least two sources of light, and yet the figure appears very convincing and the details are clear and precise.
Is this just a matter of breaking the rules for a higher cause using artistic license?
If you look closely at Old Masters’ drawings, they often violate the single-light source concept which is an OPTICAL way of drawing. Instead they employ a SCULPTURAL mode which uses contour lines or so-called bracelet shading which clearly describes the form. The lighting on a right arm may therefore be optically inconsistent with a left arm. The aim is to clarify form not depict lighting. It is not coincidental that many of these artists were also sculptors. As a rule, whatever plane of a part is closest to the viewer’s eye is treated tonally as the highest value without reference to any external light source.