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Old 02-28-2018, 08:41 PM
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DAK723 DAK723 is offline
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The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

Welcome artists!

Here is a quick recap of what The Spotlight is all about!

The Spotlight is an activity thread for pastel artists of all experience levels working from photos chosen by a monthly host. Most months, the host will choose photos from only one subject, putting that subject into “the spotlight,” so to speak! For example, one month the subject will be painting water, another month will spotlight flowers, etc.

Some months, rather than spotlight a subject, the focus will be on a challenge of some sort. In those cases, we might have a wider variety of photo references, but “the spotlight” will be on the challenge itself.

Since this is a group activity, we can pool our knowledge and resources, and grow as artists in a fun, “no-pressure” atmosphere.

And, remember, no critiques unless specifically asked for.

The intent is to have fun, try new things, experiment, and perhaps most of all, to see what our friends and colleagues are painting from the same reference material!

Please note: The photos this month were taken by me or are from the Reference Image Library. You have permission to use the photos as reference to create your artwork and to sell them and/or exhibit them. The actual photos still retain the copyright of the photographer. So you cannot copy the photo to your blog, for example, without the permission of the photographer, or digitally alter or reproduce the photo for any purpose other than for your personal use, with the exception of crops, digital alterations and posts of these photos within "The Spotlight" thread.

This month’s Spotlight is on…Cast Shadows!

Most of our Spotlights of late have been concentrating on landscapes, so I thought we should offer up something different this month, so I began looking for still life subjects from our Reference Library. As I was picking them out, I noticed that I was choosing photos that had some very distinctive cast shadows. So I thought, let's put the Spotlight on Cast Shadows!

One aspect of cast shadows that I am not going to address is how to properly draw them in perspective. There are many books and tutorials that cover perspective that usually run many pages long. In most of those cases, people are drawing cast shadows from their imagination, but since we have references, I figured we don’t need those perspective tutorials. We can just observe those shadows closely! Of course, close observation is always my advice when painting from either life or photo reference!

When it comes to cast shadows, the artist is dealing with shapes - both positive and negative - to help get the shadow shapes correct and in the right position. But here are some other things to keep in mind when it comes to cast shadows.

1) The edges of the cast shadow will vary based on the light source. If the light source is stronger and closer, the edges will be harder. When the light source is more distant and/or softer, the cast shadow edges will be softer. And, of course, multiple light sources just makes things more complicated, so I will try to avoid those in the references.

2) The edges of the cast shadow will be harder the closer they are to the object casting the shadow. Imagine the cast shadow of a telephone pole, for example. Where the cast shadow begins at the base of the pole, the edges of the cast shadow will be hardest, and then will become softer and softer the farther way from the pole the shadow is.

3) The cast shadow is also darkest at its closest point to the object casting the shadow and lightens as the distance from the object increases.

4) There's color in those shadows! While often hard to see, both in real life and in photos, don't forget that there may be colors reflecting (or shining) into the cast shadows. While we are concentrating on indoor still life in this Spotlight, we shouldn't forget that in outdoor scenes with blue skies, blue light from the sky often shines into shadows influencing the cast shadow colors. In still life, you might want to look for color from the nearest objects reflecting into the cast shadows.

Of course, like all things about painting, some of these principles are most often true, but there may always be exceptions due to varying circumstances! (I see a few exceptions in my references already!) So observation is always the best principle!

Here are a couple of links to some additional information on painting cast shadows:

https://www.artistsnetwork.com/art-m.../cast-shadows/

http://emptyeasel.com/2008/09/30/how...yre-important/

One thing about cast shadows in paintings - they offer the artist a chance to put in interesting shapes and colors. How realistic you want to show them is up to you, but they may also give you the chance to add color, be bold, and exaggerate to make them more interesting!

The references:

Photo by ivyleaf



Photo by Madmum


Photo by Madmum



Photos by me





As always, feel free to modify the references. And have fun!

Don
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Old 03-02-2018, 01:23 AM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

Great subject and wonderful photos. As you mentioned, seeing the color in shadows is important; as is also getting the right value and temperature.
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Old 03-02-2018, 01:37 PM
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robertsloan2 robertsloan2 is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

These are great references! Cool topic too. So much can be done with shadows like these. I love the ones of the bottles where the light comes through the colored glass in curving bands - it's a subtle effect but beautiful.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:03 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows



Hi everyone

Thank you Don for the wonderful inspiration with this month’s challenge, I really enjoyed reading about caste shadows. I tried to incorporate some into this little study completed this morning, inspired by the bowl of cherries image. Painted using Sennelier in velour.

If nothing else, this exercise certainly has inspired me to look closely at what colours appear in the shadows! C and c welcome.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:11 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

Katie, what a delightful painting. Your cherries are so well done!
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:53 AM
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DAK723 DAK723 is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

Katiepea, Thanks for starting us off this month! What a wonderfully colorful painting!

Don
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:03 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

One word, Katie.....exciting!!!
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:40 AM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

Very nice. A pleasure to look at, and I really want to eat some of those cherries.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:31 AM
ColorEnthusiast ColorEnthusiast is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

Don, another interesting and informative challenge.

Katie, your painting is a beautiful color feast.

Here is my contribution for this month.
All kind of pastels on PastelMat(30x40cm).
I am not really happy with the background but had no better idea.



C&C always welcome

Esther
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:29 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

Nice Job, Esther. I think the background is a nice contrast in texture against the shiny table. Your shadows are GORGEOUS!
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:42 AM
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DAK723 DAK723 is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

Esther, Wonderful painting! I think the background works fine as it conveys the sense of light coming from that direction and is a nice contrast to the objects and shadows - which are beautifully painted!

Don
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Old 03-11-2018, 08:29 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

Esther, you have handled the cast shadow theme well. The bottles are outstanding.
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:45 AM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

Esther this has a lovely sense of light about it. The ceramic pieces look very much like - ceramic! 🙂 My only suggestion would to be take a good look at the far left bottle shadow. To me it doesn't seem to follow the exact shape of the bottle.
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:02 AM
Dea Dea is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

Nice, colorful bowl of cherries Katie I like your aproach, I'm going to have a go at that red too.
Esther, you have done an excellent job on your painting, I think the background works very well,
Deanna
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:32 PM
ColorEnthusiast ColorEnthusiast is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - March 2018 - Cast Shadows

Thank you for your comments and suggestions, Jay, Don, Karen, Peggy, Deanna.
The little bottles with the light shining through, were the reason why I chose this subject for painting.
Peggy, you are right about the shadow. I will fix this. Thanks

Esther
 


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