Drawing Light and Shadows

Drawing is a skill that must be practiced in order to master. It is not simply a talent that will work itself out. It takes years of practice sometimes just to learn and understand the fundamentals and apply it in what you are working on. The basics will take you to where you wish to go and the practice and the experience that you gain will help you complete your journey towards mastering your drawings.

Along the basics that you have to learn is how to make use of light in your drawings. Light can bring any picture to life. The way you make use of it in your drawings can help provide a better perspective to what you wish to express in your drawings.

The type of lighting techniques that you use can influence the type of mood that you wish to convey. Drawing "light" on paper may a while to master. But once you get the hang of it and understand the techniques used on how to put light into paper, then that alone can make you into a better artist than before.

There are four main types of lighting that can be used in your drawings. This will depend on where the supposed light is being sourced from. Here are examples of lighting techniques and how you can put them into paper:

Front Lighting

This is probably the simplest and easiest lighting technique to use on drawings. But it may also be the most unappealing visually.

Front lighting can just make your drawings seem elementary. Front lighting eliminates or hides shadows that can otherwise give some bit of depth and perspective on your drawings. Your drawings using front light would look flat, no evidence of using some three dimensional form on them.

Side Lighting

Drawing with the effect of side lighting can put emphasis to the darker and lighter sides of your drawings. But using side lighting may be trickier to do at times. With using a side light, you should be careful of where you might be casting your shadows.

These shadows on drawings can actually put some variety as well as add balance into your drawn scenes. With side lights you can draw a tree with its trunk in lighter and darker parts. The darker areas are those not bathed in light. This helps add some depth into your drawings especially if the shadows cast are done just right.

Back Lighting

Backlighting allows you to draw silhouettes. It would not necessarily ruin your drawings if you make use of back lighting that might try to hide most of the details of your scenes.

You can make use of back lighting and still come up with great drawings by varying the intensity of darkness on the shadow areas. It will all depend on the creative composition of your drawings that will be able to make the best use of back lighting.

Top Lighting

Drawing that make use of this light source usually create drawings with the light sourced form the top, as what "high noon" scenes can provide. The tops of the objects are usually drawn light and they began to darken going to the bottom.

There are other types of lighting that can be used which can be a variation of any of the above light sources. Mastering how you use them can allow you to come up with more dramatic and more captivating drawings. It would take some time to master, but you would surely appreciate it once you have been able to come up with the finished product.

 
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