11 May 2012

Last Lesson of Day One

Shadows are complex. There are hard shadows and soft shadows, which Brenda characterized as cast shadows vs. form shadows. The edge of the shadow close to an object is harder-edged than the edge of the shadow farther away. Then there is the color of the shadow--it should be a darker shade of whatever surface on which it is cast, but so many variables come into play--the color of the object casting the shadow reflects onto the surface; light bounces to create unexpected pockets and edges of light; the intensity of the light dictates the intensity of the dark. We looked at all of these things today in a fantastic demonstration, and then we tried things out for ourselves. We proceeded as previously--made a contour drawing, then painted it--but then we took our objects outdoors into the intensity of the afternoon sun (the overhead fluorescents indoors not giving us much) to experiment.

Brenda's tip: When you are painting several objects, keep changing their position in relation to the light until the shadows combine; you don't want three discreet shadows in a row with white between, you want the shadows to draw the objects together and connect them. Here is my photo of discovery, and below that, my painting with the shadows added in. I think I needed to go for more darkness and intensity, but it was fun finding the combo shadow that pulled everything together.

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