Light and Shadow Basics Part 3

While parts 1 and 2 focused on the basic areas of light and shadow that can be found on an object, in part 3 I will look at some other things that you will want to keep in mind when drawing or painting light and shadow. Such as how colour effects reflected light and how distance and light source effects the type of shadow.


This is the same sphere from part 2 but I have changed the colours, this is to show you how the colour of the object that is reflecting the light effects the object receiving the light. When light is reflected off of on object that light takes on the colour of the object, so in this case the light reflected off of the plane that the sphere is sitting on is blue. This means that the light hitting the sphere is blue light resulting in what is shown in the image above.


There is something to note about cast shadows, they are effected by the intensity of the source of light and the size of the object or distance from the cast shadow. This effects how hard or soft the shadow is. The cast shadow shown above is a soft shadow, with it’s more gradual shift from dark to light at its edges. Hard shadows have more of a sudden shift changing from dark to light in a very short space.

Shadows with hard edges result from light sources with a high intensity or if the shadow is close to the object producing the shadow. As light intensity goes down or a shadow moves further from the source of the shadow the edges start to soften.


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