Thursday, December 16, 2010

Texture on the Moon Man

When an object is lit by direct sunlight, the texture is not equally prominent throughout the form. The texture in the shadow should not just be a darker version of the texture in the light, because that’s not how the eye sees it.

This concrete moon-face is a good example. The texture is very difficult to see at all in the shadow region. It’s also not terribly prominent in the fully lit areas of lighter halftone, such as the forehead and the left hand edge of the form.

What you tend to see in those light halftones are variations in local color--in other words, freckles rather than pores.

The place where you really see the texture is in the darker halftone, just before the terminator divides the light side from the shadow side.  In this moon man it appears in the cheeks, the tip of the nose, the lower lip, and the chin. This region is sometimes called the halflight, an area of raking light where any bumps in the surface stand out dramatically.
This example amplifies the discussion on page 46 of the Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter.
Previous GJ Posts: Texture in the Halflight and Light and Form (The Form Principle)
Color and Light on Amazon internationally: USA | CA | UK | FR | DE | JP
Color and Light signed (and doodled in) by me, from the Dinotopia Store


Dan dos Santos said...

Funny you should use a moon as an example, as this phenomena is actually well appreciated amongst sky gazers as well.
Many people assume that a full moon is best for viewing through a telescope, perhaps because there is more light.
But the half moon is actually best because it emphasizes the craters more, especially at the termination line.

Ruben Martins said...


Today, I finally received your book Colour & Light (Europe) and I have to say what rich source of information.

This post is some extra information to add on the what is already mentioned in the book..

Thank you for the post and for the book!


SuciƓ Sanchez said...

I'm going to break down and buy your book in the new year.

Mario said...

Yes, for a simple geometric property, light is always grazing in the neighborhood of the terminator (rays are tangent to object there).

A side note. Amazon has just launched the italian site (.it), but unfortunately "Color and light" is not yet available (Dinotopia and Imaginative Realism are available). It's a pity. Don't know if your editor can "push" Amazon someway... :)

tayete said...

I received your book two days ago, and I am fighting every night to not fall asleep (I have just had a baby, and work is really tiring these days) saying: "just one more page, just one more page".
I am really enjoying it, and though they are not comparable, I think it is deeper than the previous one. Good job!

James Gurney said...

Dan, that crossed my mind--the man on the moon is just like the real moon.

Ruben and Mario, Thanks for letting me know what's up in Europe. I'll ask the publisher to check on it. S.Sanchez, thanks, hope you like it!

Tayete, that's nice of you to say so, and good for you for being able to stay up after having a new baby.

AruĆ£ Torres said...

Legal, parece uma bunda. kkkk! Uma bunda feliz.