Sunday, June 5, 2011

Illustration Friday - Shadow

Pasture Gate
9 x 6 inches
water soluble graphite and colored pencil 
on watercolor board

This is just a quick color and value sketch for an image that I would like to turn into a small oil painting.  I find a little pre-planning helps immensely.  This gate is just up the road from my house and on this particular day, the play of light and shadow created beautiful elongated patterns.  For me the most interesting times of day for shadows are early morning and late afternoon, but it is also the most fleeting.  The sun seems to move more quickly when it is near the horizon.  For this reason I am a strong proponent of carrying a camera in order to capture references of this magical part of the day.  I also like use the computer to desaturate my studies to make sure the composition holds up based on value in addition to color.  It is a good idea to do this with paintings while they are progressing as well.

Here is an example of this study in grey scale.  I think it is still fairly successful.  Time to get busy painting!


  1. I'd say it's very successful. Strong, beautiful shadows...perfect!

  2. This is a wonderful sketch- Hope you'll share the finished piece, too! :o)

  3. Very nice! It's even pretty in black and white. I just love interesting shadows!

  4. Lovely--both the color study and the value study. I think I actually like the value study the best--great contrasts.


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