Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Monthly Meeting – March 2022: Illustrator Thomas Jung

Our March meeting featured Illustrator Thomas Jung presenting “A Slightly Scientific Approach to Creating Depth in Scenes.” Thomas is an Austin chapter member and a concept designer, educator and art director with over 25 years of experience in video games. He has contributed to The World of WarCraft, The Oddworld series of games, and DC Universe Outline. He is currently Director of Concept Art at Certain Affinity, the largest independent video game studio in Austin. He is also a graduate of The Art Center College of Design.

Thomas provided the basics of using line, hue, saturation, scale and spatial relationships to express visual depth, especially applicable to picture book scenes. He also recommended further study of the technical aspects of perspective and highlighted some examples of art history in relation to creating depth in scenes.

Three Pillars of Creating Depth:

1. Linear Perspective
Concept: objects farther away appear smaller
Demo: line, horizon line, scale, vanishing point/s
Art History: Brunelleschi


2. Aerial/Atmospheric Perspective
Concept: objects farther away appear lighter/more diffused
Demo: hue, saturation, subtleties, effectiveness, stylistic approaches
Art History: Roman fresco


3. Value/Lighting
Concept: value change and lighting are critical to creating depth and meaning
Demo: spatial relationships, manipulation of light source/s to create meaning, rendering with regard to leading the eye through a composition
Art History: Caravaggio


A Larger View:
Conduct your own “squint test” on illustrations by stepping back from artwork and squinting your eyes when looking to determine where the light is coming from, how the effects are working together, and how the eye is traveling through the scene. Then, adjust and play with alterations to compare and contrast the effects on a viewer.

Instead of any self-talk such as “I can’t do it,” THINK: “I’m working on it.” You can always break down skill sets into smaller portions until you master what you wish to do.

By Thomas Jung

By Thomas Jung