There are a few simple rules to remember when painting shadows

The relationship of dark to light will be the same in shadow as in light. The tonal difference between the two top squares (in full light) is the same as the tonal difference between the two bottom squares (in shadow) The relationship does not change.


Colour, texture and detail become lost in shadow. Colour saturation or intensity is reduced in shadow.

Colour will be most intense in the area of halftone (not in shadow and not under full intense light.) Under intense light colour will be washed out. In shadow colour will be dulled with its complement.

  Shadows loose intensity and definition as the distance from the source increases.


Keep shadows transparent - avoid solid black shapes. A small amount of pure Ultramarine or Alizarin can put life into a dark flat shadow.


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