This entry was originally posted on Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Matriarch



Today’s Sunday Secrets comes from Elizabeth in Montana.

Her question is,

“Do I always need a light source and shadows in every painting?”

Thank you for your question, Elizabeth.

And the answer is, that depends on what you want to say.

Most images already have a light source, or several light sources, but it may be difficult to determine where it is coming from. Even photos taken with a flash have a light source. The flash just tends to wash things out making some colors more even. Multiple light sources can cause confusion.

A light source does help round an object, giving it more dimension and depth.

This can also aid in seeing and shaping an object and painting it better.

It will help create a sense of realism and shadows help ground the object.

A strong light source creates drama.

A diffused light source makes everything more soft and subtle.

Some can be so diffused, there are no shadows.

For instance, fog would just not have the same effect if there were stronger light and shadows.


Tofino Fog


And then there are always objects that are painted in a more graphic style, where a definite light source with shadows is not an issue.

Iris Garden


Like I said, it all depends on what you want to say with your painting and what type of artist you want to be.

Leslie Lambert

Author Leslie Lambert

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