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I could understand how light functions in a painting

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  I wish...  I could understand how light functions in a painting
   This wish was made by tnielsen from USA, on 11-03-2008, 21:56
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I wish I could understand the basics of how a painter put light into their painter. Usually the light means a lot about the picture and the message...but I don't know the basics associated about interpreting the amount of light in the painting.

It makes me feel uneducated about art.
g.thooft
The Netherlands
13-04-2008, 16:15

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You need to know some basic things about optics and about geometry. If you understand how to do the perspectives right in a painting, you can also understand how light rays go. A good rule is to first decide where the sun is located, or other primary light sources such as a lamp, even if they are not within the picture frame. Then remember that light rays are always straight lines, so you can calculate where shadows are cast, and what shape they take. The rays from the sun are always parallel, but lines that are parallel in the 3dim world all emanate from one point (the sun) in your painting. When you've figured out what the rules are, go out and observe, of course there's nothing better for an artist than to observe. Check whether the illuminated parts and the shaded parts of objects are where you expect them. Look at the colors of light, notice that shades often take conjugate colors, and so on.

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