If you want to make something appear three dimensional you do not need to do too much work. Simply look for two shapes: the light shape and the shadow shape, taking care to make a clear distinction between them. There are two secrets to making this work. The first and most important, is to get the two shapes accurate, and in the right place.
This a question of drawing skills. When you get the shapes accurate the viewer’s eye fills in the rest of the details, and your subject magically looks three-dimensional.
The second secret is that whenever light falls on an object it creates a difference of value between the light and shadow planes. This value difference is larger in bright sun compared with hazy sunlight.
You need to get this value difference correct if you want to capture the true feeling of sunlight. I focused on just these two things in this painting I did of the Thangka Festival in China. If you get these two things right, you will be able to make things look three-dimensional with very little work!
To learn more about two-value statements, see the lessons in Workshop D of the Virtual Art Academy Apprentice Program.
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