OK, it started out with rosemary in the foreground before it became a blob as I struggled to figure out where the shadow should go. I don’t know why I have such a hard time with light and shadows. Any tips? Morrie play bow with rosemary cropped
OK, it started out with rosemary in the foreground before it became a blob as I struggled to figure out where the shadow should go. I don\'t know why I have such a hard time with light and shadows. Any tips? Morrie play bow with rosemary cropped
I think light and shadows are more difficult with a loose style such as this. I’ve seen many people struggle with this. Strangely, it isn’t light and shadow that are the problem as much as knowing how much water to use for the particular paint, brush and paper you are using. It’s hard to reserve white space, or get the darks where you want them without knowing this. You are doing well with light and dark in larger areas so it’s mostly the smaller areas you need to think about. My tip is to leave for more white area than you think you’ll need, and carefully draw color into the area with a damp brush once the paint has partially dried. Wait until everything dries and then add shadow with less water than you’ve used elsewhere. The most important thing is not to get discouraged. It takes time, but you’ve already got a good feel for your shapes, colors and brush strokes.
Thanks so much for this, Sandra. I still struggle with going light to dark (and tend to paint the opposite way most of the time). I’ll use your advice in the future for composition purposes. What I can’t seem to get for the life of me is figuring out where shadows should go based on where the light is coming from.
That seems like it should be simple, but seldom is. Indoors, there is usually more than one light source. More advanced artists can figure how to deal with all of them. I usually decide which I prefer and ignore the others. Do you do any preliminary value sketches? It can be a good way to decide in advance what shadows you want and where they will fall.
I didn’t consider the indoor lighting issue. You’re right, I was working off a photo for this one taken indoors. I’ll try doing some value sketches in the future. I might need to start working bigger too (this one was about 3″ X 5″). Thanks so much for your kindness in offering such great tips and support! I so appreciate having this group as a safe space to try things, mistakes and all.
Thanks, Brenda. I’m a relative beginner with watercolor too. Tried it for the first time a year or two ago. Feel like I should be able to handle shadow & light as I was more serious about being an artist more than a couple of decades ago, but I’m finding it’s not like riding a bike as I pick it back up. I’m a newbie all over again.
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