Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Drawing tutorial 05 - Light and Shadow (part2)

Last time we have seen how to sketch shadows in black and white or grayscale, but how do you deal with colors? (QUI la versione in Italiano)

I usually tend to draw very defined hard shadows, but I do not like completely black ones because they would produce an unnatural look. If you want to do good looking shadows when you draw with watercolors, you should outline them before coloring the rest of the picture.
I tend to use a very diluted indigo blue to sketch the shadowed areas first. Then, I wait for the surface to dry and I lay the color down, shadowed areas included.

This way the various layers are being overlapped and the objects' color can be seen in its desaturated and darkened form thanks to the first indigo blue pass.

Transparency is the key feature of watercolors and properly taking advantage of it is very important. You can decide to leave the surface white where you want the light to shine brightest and let the canvas breathe (yes, paper breathes too and too many colors can smother the whole composition out) or you can opt for a more subtle multi-layer technique. The idea is to roll on a third color layer on the whole surface and then, once the paper is dry again, use a fourth layer only on the areas in which the color is strongest like the shadowed ones and the halftones colors, cutting off the areas directly hit by light.

Drawing tutorial 01 - Tutorial disegno 01
Drawing tutorial 02 - Tutorial disegno 02

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