Good question. Yes? No?

pattern and principle of shadow and  light
Pattern and Principle of shadow and light

WE see light and shadow every day. It is part of our subconscious. So when we start to actually think about shadow and where and how it is drawn, you will find it difficult.

Before I learned this formula, I would just copy what I saw. But what if you have to do this from memory? You have to know the principles on how it works.

Whether it is shadow, prospective, spirals or people. We need to know why the shadow falls a certain way. Which way the line needs to be on a building in order to look good. Has this ever happen to you? You spent hours on a drawing but something is not right. You would look at the drawing and all the parts are there… Have you ever had those moments, where you could not figure out what you did wrong. It’s okay, everyone has done it. Well I am going to let in on a secret…

Actually it is quite logical and not that hard. Everything we see is familiar. It follows a patterns. It follows logical design. Today we are going to talk about shadows and light.

First formula      #1.Shadows

Our major light source is the sun. So we naturally expect the shadow to be low along the ground or horizon. There is a geometrical mathematical way to figure it out. Lets go back now to when we thought about our ball and the light source. (this is in the last posting)

As the light source hits our object it creates the shadow where the object is because the object blocks out the light source.

So we draw a line to the top of our light source, to the top of the object and beyond (not to far). Then draw a line 90 degrees from the top of your light source down to the horizon. Now draw a line from your horizon to the bottom edge of the object. This formula also gives you the length and angle of the shadow.

Good, now you can see by this simple drawing that this is simple. Of course this is a rough not hard a way to figure out an outline for your shadow.  There are other kinds of shadows to consider …for now practice this and see what you can do

so next time…


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