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The way a shadow is painted can make or ruin a painting. from the main subject of the painting, but need to be considered as seriously,always as been a problem painting shadows, let see the shadow on a yellow object. If you mix black and yellow, you get an unattractive olive green. Instead of using this for the shadow,you should use a clomplementary color llike deep purple.so i wonder how you do it??????
Good evening Jose! Please see how I handled the shadows in this lighthouse painting. Remember where you are focusing your light source. The sun shining over your right shoulder will throw shadows to your left, for instance. To achieve the illusion of shadows in paintings, use deeper shades of the same colors...nothing turns black...every color becomes a deeper, richer shade of itself. Red will have a deep wine colored shadow; light blue will have a dark blue shadow; green will become a more somber shade of green--light green-dark green, medium green-a darker heavier color of green...so forth and so on. Do not forget to shadow the small items in a painting, too: everything has a lighter side and a darker side to make it have weight or mass...otherwise everything is just colored like a child would color witih a box of crayons.
Shadows depend on the color of the light, usually reflected, from nearby objects. For example, Shadows in the woods tend to be green. Shadows in open sky are often tinged with blue and/or the color of the ground. Shadows in a room are tinted with light from nearby objects in the room.
Shadows can be a complex subject. I donít make statements on certain subjects as absolutes, usually.
Whatever you say on a given topic, someone else will have an opposing view, including the painting of shadows,
whether in the use of black here, or in the use of black in general, or as to whether to paint in this case shadows, thinly or thickly.
Say you canít or shouldnít do something, and someone somewhere will be doing it. A well known, successful painter,
Ken Auster, says he uses warm shadows, admittedly against the going thoughts and advice.
One theory states, cool light, warm shadows. Warm light, cool shadows. Your eye wants to see the opposite.
Sunlight is a slightly blue, cool color. The human eye perceives it as clear and neutral.
Iíve used warm and cool shadows, Iím experimenting with this. It depends on your painting. Every idea for a properly
painted shadow has an opposing view, other than that it should be darker, of course, than the lit side.
There are some basic rules with shadows. First, you have to look at temperature. If the light source is warm, like an incandescent bulb or direct sunlight, the shadows tend to be cool. If the light source is cool, like North light, shadows tend to be warm.
The second thing to understand about shadows is there are two types, core shadows and cast shadows. Core shadows have soft edges where the shadow breaks on a curved surface. Cast shadows, on the other hand, have hard edges where one object blocks the light, projecting a shadow on another surface. One thing to note is that a long cast shadow tends to become lighter toward the end.
Third, in shadow there tends to be about three values, the lighter value where the core shadow breaks, the middle value, and the darkest darks.
Finally, the hardest part of handling a shadow dealing with reflective light. Sometimes, light bounces onto surfaces in shadow, giving just a hint of light. However, a common mistake is to make the reflective light too light. If made too light, then it will break the sense of light and shadow in the piece, and the painting will break down. It is better to err on too little than too much reflective light. I had an instructor tell me to make it so that it is almost not there.
For me, when I paint portraits and still lifes, I tend to use a warm transparent pigments for my shadows, like transparent oxide brown, though burnt umber would work in a pinch. Sometimes, I cut that with a little ultramarine blue, so that it is not crazy warm. (Take a look at Rembrandt, or Sargent). For landscapes, and paintings outside, I tend to use cool opaque pigments, like ultramarine blue, mixed with a little alizarin crimson, mixed with just a touch of titanium white to make it opaque. Sometimes Payne's grey will work too, though I generally like more intense color.
That is it for the Dave method of handling shadows.
Take a look below. The portrait is an example of warm shadows. The cityscape is an example of cool shadows.
Here is a more complex example. This one has two lights sources, cool North light coming from the left, and warm incandescent light coming from the right.