Jun 28, 2009
Understanding light and shadows
It does not matter what you are drawing or painting you need to have a knowledge of how things will be "shaded" to make them dimensional and look real.
There are five elements or "values" you must have to make something look like it has dimension.
1.First you have the full light area or highlight area,this is where the full light is the strongest.
2. Next is the middle value area or half tone, this is half way between the light color and the dark color that is why it is called a "half tone"
3. Core shadow area, this is where the darkest shadow area is.
4. Reflected light area, this is the light that bounces onto the object from another light source, this separates the the shadow area from the "cast Shadow". It can appear anyplace where you have an edge or rim.
5. Cast shadow is under the object where no light can be found.
The shadow area has three values, the darkest is located right next to the object,then a middle value with the lightest on the edge. This edge is very soft.
Understanding this simple concept will help you paint anything. Everything has dimension and as an artist it is up to you to make sure you know how to relay that to your viewers.