Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Shadows Part 12 - Light from a single point

I'm back from Anime Expo and I hope to post a lot of useful tutorials before I need to leave again for CHA at the end of the month. Today's coloring tutorial is a continuation of the explanation I gave on coloring pleats a few days ago, as well as a new way of understanding shadows.

Light from a single point, not the Sun
This is an important distinction between light coming from one big source- the Sun, which is far away and very big, versus light coming from a single source that is much closer and smaller. Let's look at the differences between light sources.

A few things to understand:
• Light from the sun hits all objects from the same direction- If you have an object and the sun is shining on it then all your shadows will be consistent.

Look at this diagram of a holiday centerpiece. This is lit from the sun, so all the things in the picture have the same shadows on one side and highlights on the other. This is the kind of lighting I have been talking about so far in my tutorials.

However, what would happen if it were night time and we lit the candle?

Light from a single source radiates out and casts shadows in a circle - If you have an object at night and you put a light next to it then the sides of anything closest to the object will be lit.

Now look at the lighting on our centerpiece. The bottles on either side are throwing shadows in opposite directions because the light is between them. Do you see how much our shadows have changed?

Also keep in mind- Contrast will be stronger the closer you get to a single light source. In our diagram above everything is pretty close to the candle so everything has good contrast. If we had another bottle on the other side of the table it would be more shadowed, with softer/darker shading becuase it is far away.

Before I confuse you with more shadows and turn this into an advanced post, I want to apply this basic principle to the colored pleats we learned about before.

Let's turn those same pleats into curtains hanging over a window. Without getting more complex you can see that the window acts like a candle. We know that light is coming in from the window, so anything close to the window will have highlights, and anything away from the window (the far sides of the curtains and under the window sill) will be in shadow. Now we can easily see that there is light coming in from outside (at this point I'm not worrying about which direction the sun is coming from, just that it is light outside). In the future I will try to draw something in the window and show a tutorial on coloring glass.

I hope this helps clear up a little more of the mystery about shadows. All artwork today I drew, using a 0.1 mm multiliner onto color laser copier paper.


Sam said...

Oh fantastic! I've always struggled with shadowing as I can't seem to get away from drawing what I know is there rather than what I actually see. This tutorial is the most helpful thing I've seen in ages; thank you so much. :)

Unknown said...

Positively, you do THE BEST tutorials. Always blows my breath away with all the knowledge you pass on for free!!! I am deeply appreciative. Wish so much that every single one of your posts was on a CD in order to search for specific instructions. Maybe? Yes? Please, oh pretty please??????

Nicole said...

SUPAH explanation, Marianne! THANK YOU! My 12 new Copics are being shipped today from EP!! Can't wait to get them! OH, and my 3rd wire stand has been shipped, too!! HEEHEE! (like a kid waiting for Santa Claus!)

Hope you are doing well!

PJsKreativeKorner said...

Absolutely awesome. This helps so much. I agree with Marcia....a CD we could purchase would be wonderful. I do have a notebook filled with your tutorials though. Thank you so much for all you do for us. Pat

Nora said...

Another great lesson! Showed this to my oldest son & now he's off practicing.

Also wanted to say that I saw you on KUEN's Scrapbook Memories (ep#1408) yesterday - watching you demo the Copic ABS makes me want one even more! REALLY loved how you used the wide Copic to "antique" a too-bright paper. Great ideas!

Mrs. Nancy G said...

More info to take in. I've never considered candle light or the curtains like that.

Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Marianne, this is just what I needed! What a great resource to save. I appreciate your post so much. Thanks girl!

Carla Murphy said...

Thanks Marianne!! I mean that sincerely. I'm actually learning a lot from reading your tutorials. This one is no exception. Thanks for sharing this information with everyone.

Dawn said...

you are the copic guru and make things SOO easy to understand! thank you for these wonderful lessons!

Cheryl O said...

Boy, so much food for thought when you're just coloring and having fun....now it needs to have all the shadows look very realistic too!!! So much to think about and remember. However, because I want to get it right and do it well, I WILL!!! Thank you for all your helpful hints.....

carole (TruCarMa) said...

Awesome, Marianne! Thanks!!

Sandy Knecht said...

I agree, you do the best tutorials. Thank you!

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