Key Discovery: Use Saturated Colors in the Focal Area

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.

Click the Join Now button to join as a Virtual Art Academy Apprentice Member and you will receive 4 lessons a month just like this one, including the associated assignments to help you practice and assimilate the information. Once you are an Apprentice Member, you will be able to upload your assignments to the VAA online campus and discuss them with other students from around the world. When you click the Join Now button, you will see the approximate pricing in your local currency. For customers in Europe: VAT will be added at the appropriate rate.

Copyright ©2017 Barry John Raybould. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, these electronic materials are for your personal and non-commercial use, and you may not modify, copy, distribute, transmit, display, reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works from, transfer, or sell any information obtained from these materials without written permission from the author.


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