View Full Version : Reflected Light and all that

Anna Marie
02-18-2002, 04:56 PM
I know that there is a shed load of stuff I need to learn to move my art from where it is now to where I want to be.

My current thing is learning about Tonal Values, Reflected Light and Cast Shadows. I know that getting these right can turn average into great and I am aiming for brilliant.

Can anyone recommend a really good book on the subject ?

02-20-2002, 11:37 PM
If you find one Anna, let me know. I'm still trying to see value and colour together.

It's alright in the theory, but practising is a little harder.

02-21-2002, 04:59 AM
I've been sick the past couple days, and out of my classroom. When I get there next...hopefully and planfully tomorrow, I'll post the name of a book I have there.

Its an excellent modern book on just what you are asking that comes out of the Hawthorne and Hensche Cape Cod school and teaching practice on seeing color properly.


Anna Marie
02-21-2002, 03:27 PM
Magic Thanks Larry.
Are you taking your Vitamins regularly!

02-23-2002, 10:35 PM
Okay, Anna...the book I had in mind is called, "How to See Color and Paint it" by Arthur Stern put out by Watson Guptill, first published in 1984.....

I just checked Amazon.com and it turns out the book is out of print, but might be able to be purchased used. I saw a soft cover going for $139...

Holy smokes!!!! I best hold onto this copy!!!!
From the Hawthorne and Hensche school of color, Cape Cod. Sorry, wish I had better news on that one....
otherwise, just begin like many of us to start building a library of one color book after another. Bummer....

I don't have Richard Schmid's book on everything he knows about Alla Prima yet, (a $99 book), but I imagine it must have some good stuff on color too.


Anna Marie
02-24-2002, 05:30 AM
Thanks Larry I have managed to source a couple in a second hand book shop but also managed to get a book called
Artistic Secrets to Painting tonal Value by
Alex Kedzierski from the local Library which is pretty magic!

02-24-2002, 09:37 AM
Another book worth considering is:
"Painting Beautiful Skin Tones With Color & Light in oil, pastel and watercolor" by Chris Saper ISBN 1-58180-163-7 by Northlight Publishing. I have found it to be very informative and helpful.

It is currently in print and the price wasn't to bad either.

02-26-2002, 02:13 AM
I met Chris Saper two weeks ago so I had to run out and get the book.
There are a lot of good references in it and I am really impressed by her mastery of all of the media she demo's in.
Her watercolors are astounding!
Good book.

I have no idea what to say about the reflected light topic per se, but that Harley Brown book is just fun to look at and full of good stuff too!
Good luck!

02-26-2002, 09:24 AM
dj meeting Chris must have been a fun experience.:clap:

In her book I found Chapter 2 "The Colors of Light and Shadow" to be clear and helpful. I enjoyed the whole book so much I read it twice. ( I usually speed read the first time through and then go back and carefully go over it when I like the book.) Chapter 4 "Using Photgraphic References" as well as the examples also threw more light on the subject. no pun inteded.

Anna Marie
02-27-2002, 01:56 PM
Reserved Chris Saper from my local library and another 3 or 4 in same basic area. If they are exciting enough then I'll buy them. This is my new system of not buying books and then finding the only good chapter was the one that made me buy it!

Chris Saper
04-12-2002, 12:18 AM
Dear Debra and everyone,

Thank you all for such nice comments about "Painting Beautiful Skin Tones". I hope you will find the color discussions helpful...I would say that my book is somewhat more theory-oriented than mixing-oriented, but there are two excellent books on mixing (see my resource bibliography) that, at least for me, really clarified color mixing:

Stephen Quiller's "Color Choices"; and
Jeanne Dobie's "Making Color Sing".

Even though both authors focus on watercolor, the principles are so well articulated that it just doesn't matter what your medium is. In fact, after I finished Color Choices some years ago I actually tracked down Stephen Quiller on the phone to tell him how much my painting life had changed after reading this book. ( Much like Patty Duke, talking to Anne Bancroft, with her hands under the water (this probably dates me terribly))

Like so many things, I had for years heard instructors drone on and on an about color theory, but sometimes, the lesson just needs to be presented in a way that suits an individual's way of learning. These two books definitely did it for me.

Best Wishes, Chris

04-12-2002, 05:29 AM
Dick Blick (dickblick.com) has a good selection of books like that...worth checking out.

04-12-2002, 06:48 AM
Chris, Welcome! Glad to see you made it here to Wet Canvas.

Chris' book is wonderful. I use it now for reference for all my portraits. She really knows color.

Thanks all, for the book tips. Anna Marie, I too, like to test-run a book in the library before buying it. I bought Chris' book without doing that, after I saw her beautiful paintings.

I hope Chris will be posting on WC on a regular basis.


Anna Marie
04-12-2002, 01:24 PM
Yippee Chris nice to hear from you I love your book. I am just dabbling with portraits but do more horses than anything and your book is just as relevant. Thanks for the inspiration.
And Yes I will be buying it!

Anna Marie
04-16-2002, 04:17 PM
Oh no you dont Bruin70 I am going to become great so there!

04-19-2002, 02:45 AM
:) :) :) :) :)

05-09-2002, 05:23 PM
Hi Anna Marie,

I just wanted to say that I have Alex Kedzierski's Book on Secrets to Painting Tonal Values and it is an excellent book! I learned quite a load from that one book in relation to reflected light/shadows, cast shadows, and tonal values. Wonderful Book! This book is a great answer to your initial question.

I have Chris Saper's Book also, "Painting Beautiful Skin Tones with Color and Light", and it is absolutely wonderful!!! I absolutely love her work! And she has a wonderful palette. Her book is also loaded with wonderful information, which I know you have already heard about above. I wish I could've said "Hi" to her........what an honor to everyone here for her to pop in!!!

I think I'm going to have to check out "Color Choices" and "Making Colors Sing" also.:) Sounds interesting!!! Thanks!


05-16-2002, 09:55 PM
Someone may already have mentioned this, but my top recommendation for studying light (in any media) from a book is:

"Light for the Artist" by Ted Seth Jacobs
Watson Guptil


cobalt fingers
06-04-2002, 03:44 PM
I know good books are helpful and I have read many of the good ones mentioned. I really think the best things books or teachers can do is to sharpen your awareness and observation skills so that you may notice things better.

Read the books but then quickly hit the studio (or paint outside) from life and paint what you see. If you get what you see regarding cast shadows etc. and the rest-the work is over. Read yes, then PAINT!

Anna Marie
06-04-2002, 06:12 PM
Diallled in without my glasses and read the last note as read first and then faint !