Saturday, October 15, 2011

Light, shadows and COI

In my last set of exercises with Ona I focused on light directions. This is a continuation of the same lesson and was a great learning experience. I chose a reference picture from a holiday in Ireland:
Ona then gave me an exercise She said 'look at your ref photo of the Ireland scene. Printout the colour photo a couple times and play around with a pencil on the photo creating  2 different light sources. Some ideas to get you going... you could have the scene as midday with the sun quite high in the sky... what would happen to the shadows? In contrast an early morning scene with the sun low down.... what happens to the shadows then? Draw in the shadows where you think they might be and also mark you light source
Its amazing how the effect of light can totally transform a ref photo isnt it'. So I took 2 printouts and coloured them in. This was the picture in the mid day sun:
And this was the picture in evening light, with the sun low in the west

To reinforce what I had learnt she asked me to do a third exercise, 'to re create one of those days where it is part cloudy but some areas of the painting are in sunshine. This would be really effective for eg if you wanted to make the island your COI by having a pool of sun in this area . It could include some of the foreground too or not. I will leave this up to you'. This is the result:
I loved doing this exercise and certainly learnt so much. Now as I go through my day, I find myself constantly observing light sources, the way shadows get cast....I do wish I had more time to practice though!


  1. What a great exercise and also your versions of the scene...I think I'll try putting this into practise myself. Your final picture looks so fresh...well done Brinda.

  2. Thanks Ann. Ona is a terrific teacher!

  3. These are wonderful Brinda. Ona is a terrific teacher. Your work in the last months has come a long way--alive and full of enthusiasm.

  4. Oh, very nice, Brinda! I think artists 'see' the world differently, noting light sources, shadow colors, different shapes.

  5. Very interesting. An exercise well worth doing.