Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Understanding Light Source

There are so many beautiful images out there to stamp or print and colour using Copics! One of the biggest questions people have once they are ready to colour is "How do I know where my light source is coming from?".
It is quite important to understand the answer to this question, as it will help you to know where to apply your lightest colours an where to apply your darkest colours for shadows.
Here is a little bit of ART THEORY!
Light and shadows visually define objects. Before you can colour the light and shadows you see, you need to train your eyes to visually identify the following:
  • Light source: The direction from which a dominant light originates. The placement of this light source affects every aspect of an image.
  • Shadows: The areas on an object that receive little or no light.

In the above examples I have indicated where my light source (sun) is coming from.

We are looking to see where the rays of sunlight first hit the image. This is where the image will be lightest, and where you will use your lightest Copic colours. Adversely where the rays are farthest from the sun is where the darkest areas or shadows will fall. This is where you will use your darker Copic colours.

For many people it is easier to identify the light source if you physically draw it. The best way to do this is to draw a sun and its rays onto piece of acetate and lay it over your image.

Now once you can identify where your light is coming from, you can start adding colour to your image.

In the above example you can see how this theory translates into practice once the colour is added.

I hope this makes identifying and understanding where your light source is coming from a little easier! ....

I have used CC Designs Goth Girl to remind you to enter the Copic Oz Halloween Challenge.
Happy Colouring....Mandi xxx
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  1. Thanks Mandi, for this wonderful tutorial, this will really help me as I struggle with this....

  2. Thanks Mandi, I always struggle with this too so this is s good little tute to have a play with. I am onto this challenge now :)

  3. Fabulous Tutorial, Mandi, very well explained with a great image chosen to show it, xxxx

  4. Mandi this is an absolutely FANTASTIC tutorial - awesome explanations and the pictures are a wonderful resource!!!!

  5. This is AMAZING! Extremely nice presentation, Mandi! Incredible resource for the highlight impaired. LOL! I cannot wait to see you!! 2 weeks from today! Yeah ME!

  6. Way to go...this is an amazing demo on light source! Looking forward to meeting you!

  7. Amazing - I demo this with a piece of acetate and always get "wows" but your completed drawings with the sun rays are amazingly wonderful. I am so looking forward to meeting you in a few weeks in Chicago.

  8. Love it! and if people like this presentation, then just wait for the intermediate class ;)!! Mandy, we are REALLY looking forward to seeing you again, your students will love what you bring back!

  9. I ALWAYS have trouble with my light source - this is perfect and explains in plain English. Thank you!

  10. Awesome!! Thank you for sharing!

  11. how many sun rays should we draw per picture?

  12. how many sun rays should we draw per picture?