Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Let There Be Light

We all know that to make an area appear lighter, make the area next to it darker.  This idea was reinforced at the OPA Exhibition in Fredericksburg, TX when Kenn Backhaus painted for us with a fantastic demonstration.  The image was of a building with an archway; I think it might have been a cathedral.  The sunlight streamed brilliantly across the face of a portion of the wall leaving more than half of it in shadow.  "To make an area appear bathed in sunlight it has to have a strong contrast of a dark area. That area should be larger than the light area," he said.    I'm paraphrasing here but I think I am close to his actual words.

His words were my inspiration in this painting and I took the shadow side way down in value (more than the actual value that was visible).  The other idea was keeping the lightest light in the focal area and playing down all the other lights while still creating a light path.  The dark area in the bottom right corner was a cast shadow from my camera phone-sorry.

 This 11x14 was so much fun.  I completed it in less than three hours.  No underpainting, just laying blocks of color shapes of light and dark with some mid-tones.

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