Lighting is so important to a piece of artwork – and no, we don’t mean it has to be like this:
or like this:
Lighting is the one of the first things that people recognize for setting a “mood” in a piece – is this meant to be scary, subdued, or introspective? Lighting can focus on one part of the picture (and not necessarily using a spotlight) while pushing other details away. The way you move the light around a piece can direct the eye anywhere. When focusing on the figure, in a Fine Art sense, how you light the figure will emphasize certain features – many important muscles and planes are only visible in certain lighting situations.
Anywho, to not get too in depth in an “importance of lighting lecture” (go take a class, I’m not your teacher!), here is a phenomenal short film that highlights just how quickly lighting can change a subject. Though, I wish she would stop messing with her hair.