Thursday, March 21, 2013

Shadows and Stuff, Part 2

The Mountains Are Calling, pastel, 10x8

This week I continued with the shadow series in my pastel classes. The Mountains Are Calling was my demo from my Wednesday class.

The shadows in this piece travel across three quarters of the painting, providing good opportunity to notice how the edges of shadows become softer as they travel away from the object casting them. They also become lighter in value as they travel away. When working from photos, shadows also generally need to be lightened overall. Photos tend to make the shadow values the same as the object casting them, when, in reality, they're slightly lighter (even at the darkest/closest part) than the object.

Below is the reference photo for comparison...

For a better composition, and to lengthen/increase the drama of the shadows, I raised the area where the shadows meet the trees.

Following are a few progression shots. It was important to block in the shadows with VERY loose, soft edges. I find it easier to sharpen the few edges closest to the trees later in the process than it is to soften edges that were rendered too stiff in the early stages. The first one is just after the alcohol wash over a few Nupastel/Rembrandt pastels.

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