Monday, January 18, 2010

Shadow Observation

I read an art book some time (years) ago.  It was written by a "prominent person".  In it was a section on shadows. It stated that "there cannot be a shadow on a shadow" or words to that effect.  It meant that one shadow falling into another would not show up

A few weeks ago I was warming up while painting at Scotsdale Farm.  We often talk about things that would be good to show to students and others.  While talking about shadows we looked out the window to find a sample.

Christy at Scotsdale, January 2010

So here is shadow on shadow.  Both Christy and the fence post are throwing tall shadows on the snow foreground.  If you look inside those shadows you will see small shadows from foot prints etc.  So much for the book.  In addition you will note the gradation in the value of the cast shadow - from darker value near the source and lighter far from the source.  Looking at the edges of the shadows note how they get softer and "grow" as they move away from the source.  Perspective!  Diffraction!  Physics!

There are numerous other observations here such as "what colour is the shadow"?  The camera does a poor job of the colours and the values - look at the sky as well.  Mother nature (New Mother Nature Taking Over - The Guess Who - now on my iTunes - just like a plan!) will show all if you train yourself to ask the questions.

Beware the Workshop Two Step.

Next time you look at paintings in a show see if you can tell those painted from life and those painted in the studio from a photo.

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