Join Will Kemp for an in-depth discussion in this video An introduction to lighting for artists, part of Foundations of Drawing: Light and Shadow.
If you've ever felt frustrated, having worked so hard on a drawing only to find that it still looks flat? You think it might be your perspective, or it might be the composition, and you can't work out what's wrong with it. More often than not, it's actually the lighting of the scene that you're looking at. The light and shadow in your composition that's causing the problems. If line drawing creates proportions, handling of the tone creates the form. The theory can seem simple and the changes can seem very small but application of light logic to your drawings can really create a massive improvement in your work and the exciting part about it is, that once you get lighting, the principles never change.
In this course, on how to draw light and shadows, we look at both the theory, the art history, and practical step by step demos, on how light and shade have been used by artists for centuries and how you can use the same principals to drastically improve your work. So how does light behave when it hits the form? Predictably, if we using a single light source. The problem is the most of the time at home, you don't have one single light source. Window lights, maybe lights from the TV or reading lights and just by the very nature of the lighting setups we have in our homes, it makes it really difficult to achieve a dramatic drawing successfully.
To make something look three dimensional, you need the light to do the work for you, rather than your pencil. So I found the easiest way to learn about light and shadow is by using one single, hard light source. It could be the sun. It could be the light through window or artificial light and when you're a beginner, it's the simplest way to see the differences between the tones. This is called light logic and we'll come back to light logic later on but first, let's have a look through the materials that I'm going to be using throughout the entire course
- Identifying the light sources
- Understanding the history of light and shadow in art
- Working with different lighting angles
- Working with line and tone shadow patterns
- Creating form with pencils, chalk, and charcoal