Chapter 2. Lights and Shadows

The World Around You

Before getting into the actual creation of the art, one of the most important aspects of a painting to consider is that lighting sets the mood for an image. The composition and subject matter are central, but it is how they are lit that tells the story. The time of day, the light source, and the subsequent shadows are the elements that create the ambiance for the scene. Watch “Citizen Kane,” any old Hitchcock movie, or any other great black-and-white movie and you will see a strong play of lights and shadows that add drama. Good lighting techniques made up for the lack of color in old movies and brought the audience into the scene.

Shadows also add dimension to an image. Without them an object appears ...

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