Shadow And Light Source

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Shadow on the beach
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The List of Lessons used in this Course on Shadow will teach you:

LESSONS - Shadow And Light Source

Shadows Using Parallel Light Rays.
Creating Converging Shadows.
Using Parallel Rays.
Perspective and Parallel Light Rays.
Solid Cylinders Shadow.
Creating Shadows Using Spheres.

The importance of Shadows in our drawings.

Shadows are important additions to drawings that help give the illusion that objects are resting on a surface or even hovering above the ground.

The use of shadows is a good way to ascertain a strong contrast around subjects, set atmospheres and to separate the subject from their background giving us a real feel for the subject and it’s surrounding.

The most advantageous position for your light source.

It is always best to have a single light source. Think of the light as being a single point at a certain direction and height above the object. Shadows that are cast to either side or behind an object usually reflect a good choice of light position. This shadow will not dominate.

The most advantageous position for the light source is one that is behind the viewer (in front of the object), is fairly high and is over the left or right shoulder. This location will give relatively short shadows behind and to the right or left side of the subject.

We must accept the use of shadows in many different environments which is to the advantage of the artists, both technical and pictorial.

Look at your position to your subject.

If you intend to use shadows in your artwork your job is to get it right and I am here to show you just how to accomplish and understand the right choice. The Fine Artist has an easy job here for a few reason.

Often when you are drawing you can set-up the lighting. If you are outside creating landscape your shadows are already in place for you. But because you are outside, the sun moves and can chance the whole scene and composition of your work. In a case like that I try and cheat, oops, did I say cheat!

What do I mean by that last statement?

Well it’s not really cheating.

Once I start to draw outside I decide where I want to place my shadows, often it’s there for you so get it down now before you get too involve in your drawing, before your shadow moves. Shadows control your tone and colour of your work so please keep that in mind.

Let’s get on with creating shadows using perspective and learn the construction of shadows using accurate drawing.


Lesson 1: Shadows Using Parallel Light Rays

Length: 45 minutesAuthor: TutorComplexity: Easy

Parallel and Converging Shadow

Basic Parallel construction of a Shadow in Perspective. When we start to understand Parallel Shadows and how to use it in our artwork we will also understand the transformation shadows… Related

Lesson 2: Creating Converging Shadows

Length: 180 minutesAuthor: TutorComplexity: Standard

We will start with the basic shadow using a rectangular box plotted in perspective. Using the lessons from Course 1 – Learn Perspective, you will be plotting the Box, the… Related

Lesson 3: Using Parallel Rays

Length: 100 minutesAuthor: TutorComplexity: Standard

Parallel Light Rays

Shadow cast using Parallel Rays on Ground Plane and Vertical Plane. Now, lets go back to Parallel Rays and construct another version from Lesson 1, this time the shadow will… Related

Lesson 4: Perspective and Parallel Light Rays

Length: 120 minutesAuthor: TutorComplexity: Standard

Parallel Light Rays reflects the movement of the Light Source. We are keeping with Parallel Light Rays and create some great shadows which you will find useful in all forms… Related

Lesson 5: Solid Cylinders Shadow

Length: 180 minutesAuthor: TutorComplexity: Standard

Solid Cylinders

Parallel Shadows and Solid Cylinders Shadows of curved forms can be more complicated, so we will follow the same principles as creating the box subject. With circles you have to… Related

Lesson 6: Creating Shadows Using Spheres.

Length: 180 minutesAuthor: TutorComplexity: Standard

Creating shadows to give the illusion that objects are resting on a surface. Shadows and shading are all handled by the use of good perspective… Shadows and Shading are such… Related

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  • Technical illustrations generally have to describe and explain the subjects to a non-technical audience.

    Therefore, the visual image should be accurate in terms of dimensions and proportions, and should provide “an overall impression of what an object is or does, to enhance the viewer’s interest and understanding”.

  • Linear perspective, a system of creating an illusion of depth on a flat surface.

    In linear perspective parallel lines that diminish into the distance appear to get closer together or converge.

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