Drawing Basics: The basics of light and shadow

Drawing a realistic object begins with the understanding of how we visually perceive light and shadow and how these two work together to give us the sense of three-dimensional form. We can look at how light interacts with form and identify several distinct characteristics that appear in the scene.

It is through light and shadow that we see form or the three dimensional representation of both the shape and volume of the object. We use this visual information created from the interplay of light and shadow on an object to understand the shape, size, and mass of that object. This is because light behaves consistently affecting very object in the same way, creating consistent patterns on the object. Our brains then interpret that pattern into the three-dimensional form.

Once we identify these characteristics we can use some basic principles as a guide to illustrate form realistically. If you understand how the light behaves then drawing a realistic object becomes easier. 

Lets look at the different elements or part of the light patterns on form.

Color Basics: Properties of color

Today we are going to look at the three properties of color. A color is composed of three parts; hue, value, and saturation. Understanding what these three properties are will help us understand the nature of color which will give us more control and flexibility when creating our art. 

<a href="http://www.public-domain-image.com/free-images/flora-plants/fruits/apple-pictures/red-apple-with-water-droplets" title="Red apple with water droplets">Red apple with water droplets</a>For example, when we look at a red apple we are seeing three properties that give us that particular red that we see. We see that it is a red but we also see that it is a dark red. We may also see that it is a strong red. We can break apart those distinctions we see into three different components. Those components are the properties of that color. We see the hue of the color is red. We see value of the color is dark. We also see that the red is very red or is a saturated red.

Let's take a look at those parts a little more closely.

Color Basics: The Color Wheel

In previous post we learned about the additive and subtractive color approaches to color. Each one using different principles to blend and create color. Each approach can be applied to different media.  The subtractive approach can be used for painting and print. The additive approach can be used for digital media, such as video.
Today we are going to dig a little deeper into this by looking at three different color wheels.  We will look at the color wheels with red, yellow and blue (RYB); cyan, magenta, and yellow (CMYK); and red, green, and yellow (RGB) as the primary colors. 

Let's take a look.

Anatomy Basics: Bones of the Skeleton

Below the jump break is an interactive chart to help you identify the bones of the body. To start, click on the hide all bones button. Then select the name of the bone in the list of bones to the left. This will highlight the bone on the skeleton. Just click on "read more" and enjoy.

Drawing Basics: Simplified Skeleton and Figure

As part of a structural approach to drawing the figure, the simplified skeleton is a good place to start studying how to draw the human form. This approach helps the artist resolve many of the underlying concerns in drawing the figure before working on the details. Some of the things this helps with would include working on proportions, mass, balance, gesture, and action.

When drawing the simplified figure we are identifying the main structures of the body. By identifying and simplifying the main parts of the body first, we can take our focus away from the surface and the details. This allows us to break up the process of drawing the figure into easier bite sized steps rather than trying to do it all at once.