Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cast Shadows, Part 1

When a form intercepts a parcel of direct light, it projects or casts a shadow onto whatever lies behind it.

The resulting cast shadow can be a striking design element, as it was for Frank Brangwyn in one of his famous bridge paintings.

Sometimes forms outside the composition cast shadows onto the subject. The movement of the morning sun shifted the shadow fairly quickly over the Flatiron building.

Samuel Prout effectively used the cast shadow in this watercolor of the Palazzo Contarini in Venice.

The edge of the shadow shape follows the bold relief of the building. It also sets up opportunities for tonal design. Some figures are seen in light against shadow shapes, while other figures are in relative darkness against a bright background.


Super Villain said...

i think your waterfall city would be another good example of this...

also looking again (and again) at the dinotopia books i'm always impressed with how you paint your suns.

i think you and kinkade have a great style with creating the blinding effect of looking directly at the sun. hopfully one day you will blog your sun blinding secrets, haha.

Gregory Becker said...

Great post.
I was looking at Monet and and early in his work he seperated things in the sunlight by 3 values. Later, he seperated his values between light and shadow by 4 values and even later by 5 values as it relates to keying his paintings.
I see that with other artists as well and I was wondering if it was because they discovered something along the way or just artistic liscense.
Any insights?