Jun 9, 2016

Crossing Into the Dark Side - Painting and Drawing Tips


Talk to any artist and they will tell you they love to work with light: Capturing Light, The Essenses of Light, The Magic of Light in oil, acrylic, watercolour and more.  Everyone wants to work with the light.
But with light there is always a Dark Side!!

Come with me and visit the Dark Side.  It is the life of shadows, where secrets are hidden. Places where photographers can not go.  The place where magic can happen.  If you are ready.
Crossing the Line - Framed 11 x 14 - $300 C
Ink and Watercolour

When you draw, you work with values not colours.  This is a world I love to create in.  Through drawing you quickly feel the power of light but also the power of dark.  Shadows tell so much about the subject.  Looking at the Sandhill Crane in "Crossing The Line" there is much to learn.  He is facing into the light. The mass of his body is understood through the mix of light and shadow.  The dark shapes at the bottom tell you there are feathers hanging down and give a strong sense of depth to his body.  The placement of his right leg projects forward and behind his body again through the conversation of shadows.  He has a strong sense of presences in his environment. 

Now look at his marshland.  Not the usual bulrushes and grasses he is use too.  This is my world of Constructed Organics.  Where artificial feeders, nesting boxes and constructed migratory paths are the norms.  Here once again the shadows play with the shapes.  Shadowing the patterns gives them movement, mass and shapes.  Some bubble out, others sink in giving them a life of their own. The feeling of foreground, midground and background is quite clear.

Still not sure shadows tell their own story.

Look at the detail below from "Crossing the Line".  Without the shadow lines the patterns are flat.  Despite the arrangement of shapes they do not read as a forest of bushes.  The patterns although full of interesting shapes lack the fluid movement found in the piece.  The bits of colour I started to put in, add interest, catch the eye but create no depth.  Without Shadows there is no life to the piece.

Detail from Crossing the Line - patterns have interest but lack depth.  They are flat.

The shadows in this piece are simple lines, some sharp and some with graduated values.  The difference they make to these innate objects is striking.  Imagine what they could do for your work.
I am working on a series of posts that focus on shadows, the Dark Side of your work. My focus is based on my pencil drawing experiences and the transfer I see as I move into colour.  My first post in this series "Meet the Terminator" begins here.

Pay more attention to those shadows.  In your photographs they may be just a dark spot but they do have a story to tell. Dig deep to find that story.  Don't let them just be "that dark spot".

If you missed my last post series on Drawing Tips for summer fun check them out.  It is a four part series starting here.  

Looking for a starting point in your drawing?  I will be happy to get you up and running.  Call me now and set up a few lessons to get you on the road to a summer of fun with your art.

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Have a great artful day, Wendy 


Brenda Hill CDM said...

Very creative background!

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Yes, it is fun to do. I love working with my pen!