How can I create this light effect?

Hello. I love this composition and would like to to do something similar (the sky over the houses that are kind of faded in, not the computer, etc).

I am unsure whether I should use different HSB values for the properties over the background layer (sky) with certain opacity for each house or if I should just use different color variations of a base color with the gradient with a certain transparency on top of everything else.

I was kind of hoping someone could point me in the right direction.

  • What..........?
    – Joonas
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 19:00
  • Hello Joonas,I like the houses that are like blue/light blue over the heavy sky. What I would like to know is HOW can I do them. If I should layer them over a background gradient with a certain transparency/blending mode or if the houses should be on top of the gradient with a transparency/blending mode. It is unclear to me looking at it which one is best.
    – OniLInkCR
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 19:05
  • I'm not sure I'm understanding either. The houses are just a different shade of blue, that's all. Sounds like you may be way over-thinking this. Use a darker blue for the background and a lighter blue for the houses.
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 19:21
  • @Scott The question is about color adjustment between the MONITOR and the "background" image part of which displayed on the monitor.
    – Ilan
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 20:48

2 Answers 2


I think you are overthinking things. I don't really understand what you are asking.. it seems to be "how to do I color like this?" Which would appear to be a straightforward question with an equally straightforward answer - you pick the colors you want.

It's just a blue palette with three variations - shadows, mid-tones, and highlights.

enter image description here

There are some additional variations within that to accommodate some of the details within the image. However essentially the image is built using one palette, then areas are altered for a second palette to lighten them up, then a third palette for highlights.

You can use blending modes and transparency to do that if you want.

But you can just as easily use a secondary or tertiary swatch group and fill objects with standard colors - no blending or transparency. (image above is all just solid colors).

You can also use things like Illustrator's Recolor Artwork, 2

Which method you choose is entirely up to you. There's nothing inherently wrong with any of them. There may be some considerations though.

If you are working in CMYK mode, blending and transparency can yield undesired results. So you may be better off using solid colors.

For me, I dislike using transparency and blending within Illustrator if it can be avoided. But that's merely my preference.

  • Thanks Scott, I share your sentiment as well (no blending modes) and will try with variations of a color.
    – OniLInkCR
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 23:14

Achieving with blending mode, here's the steps... I'm working in RGB Mode

enter image description here

Create a black rectangle over the Artboard enter image description here

Select Transparency-> and change blending mode to Saturation enter image description here

Result of blending mode, you can lower the opacity for desire blending. enter image description here

Double click the Opacity Mask icon to add opacity mask. This will activate Opacity Mask Editing mode. enter image description here

Remove Clip check mark enter image description here

Now draw an area filled with black, where effect is not desired. enter image description here

Click back and forth to edit Opacity Mask. enter image description here

Hopefully this helps....

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