30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 21- Shadows/Color

30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 21- Shadows/Color

A couple of days ago we explored the values and form of shadows by drawing a 3-D cube.  Value or light and shadow is definitely the key to making a cube look 3-D.  However, for me the beauty of imagery is often found in the exploration of color!  I love color!

Shadows have COLOR.  We may think of them as gray, but as artists, we need to see what others may not see and appreciate the fact that color lives in those shadows!  This is a phenomenon that is attributable to bouncing light.  As light hits, it bounces and carries with it the inherent color of the object reflecting the light into the shadow.  This means that there is an exchange of color between surrounding objects which can be found in the shadows.  Check out these photos as examples:

Do you see the green color being bounced into the form shadow of the pear? The green of the surface turns this red pomegranate almost black as the colors mix to form a neutral dark (red+green=black or gray). 

Do you see that this house has different color shadows in relation to the surrounding surfaces?  The reverse would be true if the surface was white and the house had color.  
Today’s Challenge:  
Pen (permanent marker) +watercolor, pencil+water-soluble markers, or colored pencils could all work for this exercise.  
Objects to draw
I experimented with the Brown Elegant Writer marker and watercolor here.  I asked myself, “What if?” and this is what happened.  Note the warm shadows under the radishes (yes, that’s what they are! lol) and the warm bounced red into the blue glass bottle. This is an example of how color can be found in shadows and exchanged between objects.  No dull gray shadows here…instead lots of vibrant color!
Step 1: Do a contour drawing of an object(s) from life with a pen.  No photos today, practice drawing something in front of you.  Make it a contour drawing, but with this special instruction:  leave some gaps in the contour.  Don’t enclose the outside entirely with lines.  As you explore some of the edges and follow them in from the outside edge, don’t worry about sealing that edge up with a line.  Let it breathe here and there!  Open edges will be helpful in creating some color exchange between our objects and their shadows.
Step 2: Bring color to your drawing and think about showing the following:  
  • color exchange taking place between objects and their shadows
  • color exchange taking place between objects via bounced light
  • bounced light effects from the surface back onto the form of your objects

Have fun with this drawing and use it as an opportunity for incidental color…colors which may or may not be there, but which you take the liberty of injecting.  You’re the artist, so add your personal touch!

Congratulations on being more than ⅔ of the way to the finish line  in our 30 Day Drawing Challenge!  Those of you who have been participating can look forward to a real sense of accomplishment and progress at the end of your 30 days.  I’m so excited for you!  

Examples of drawings of cubes from our previous challenge on Day 18 of the 30 Day Drawing Challenge
In case you want to learn this process here is a link https://rebeccazartist.com/2015/05/30-day-drawing-challenge-day-18-draw.html

This great sketch of an owl uses Zentangle as a patterning technique.  The sketch below is another example of how patterns can make for interesting drawings.  For more on this method see the instructions for Day 20 of the 30 Day Drawing Challenge- https://rebeccazartist.com/2015/05/30-day-drawing-challenge-day-21_21.html

I’m looking ahead to later this week.  I will be breaking out my Tombow marker in burnt sienna color -947 for a sketch or two during the final couple of weeks of this challenge.  If you would like to get one, it’s around $5-6. Here is a link:  Tombow 947 Marker- Amazon

Rebecca Zdybel
Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor
Art Lessons: Drawing, Watercolor, Acrylic, Collage, Mixed Media
Myrtle Beach, SC

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Rebecca Zdybel is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Follow her and see her work at https://rebeccazartist.com/
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Author Rebecca Zdybel

Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor - Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art! Rebecca Z Artist (Rebecca Zdybel) is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC. She blogs and teaches locally and internationally. Sign up for her blog, classes, workshops, art travel tours, or see her work at RebeccaZArtist.com.

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