Any examples of light and shade on basic shapes?

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    Any examples of light and shade on basic shapes?

    I'm currently fawning over Drawing Lessons From The Great Masters, especially the sections "Light and Planes" and "Mass". The idea of an artist throwing out the current lighting that he/she physically sees on the model and using their own light and shade based on knowledge of what they know with simple shapes, is totally awesome. There's a sense of control over drawing (instead of drawing controlling you)

    I'd love to find a resource that shows shapes in different lighting scenarios for future study, yet have not been able to do so.

    Any help on overcoming this hurdle?

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  3. #2
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    got a desk lamp and some balls and cubes around?

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    Desk lamp I have, shapes I do not.

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    You can easily make a cube, a cylinder, and a cone out of construction paper. For a ball, use any light-colored ball, or strip paper off a small globe.

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    Plunder your fridge. Might find something useful in there, like fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk cart etc...

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    And for more complex forms maquettes are always a good idea.

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    Check out Succesful drawing by Andrew Loomis, i think you should find what you are looking for in that book.

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    Cups and sucers and other kitchenware.

    I like to dive into my kids toybox for goofy looking toys.

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    you mean something like this?



    also Scott Robertson has a few Dvds that thoroughly go over this subject. The 1st in the series is called "How to Render Matte Surfaces 1: Shading Planar Surfaces" good stuff

    Last edited by Zazerzs; February 26th, 2010 at 02:12 PM.
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  13. #10
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    Yeah - not sure where you're looking - you can buy plaster drawing forms of the basic shapes or even an extended set. Kids blocks are grea - you can paint them white. Small boxes are great - paint them white if you want. Hit the thrifts stores - young kid, baby toys are always great - painted white.

    One caveat: the idea of creating your own lighting effects may be appealing (I haven't read the particular book you reference) but I wouldn't recommend it until you have a thorough understanding and command of value and lighting from observation. You have to understand these things in context - taking an idea about "invented" lighting from the Masters when they're 30 years into an intense life dedicated to the study of form, light, figure...well, they probably didn't start learning with inventing lighting effects is all I'm saying. Just my two cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zazerzs View Post
    you mean something like this?

    also Scott Robertson has a few Dvds that thoroughly go over this subject. The 1st in the series is called "How to Render Matte Surfaces 1: Shading Planar Surfaces" good stuff

    Yes, that is something to the effect of what I was looking for. Thank you.


    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    One caveat: the idea of creating your own lighting effects may be appealing (I haven't read the particular book you reference) but I wouldn't recommend it until you have a thorough understanding and command of value and lighting from observation. You have to understand these things in context - taking an idea about "invented" lighting from the Masters when they're 30 years into an intense life dedicated to the study of form, light, figure...well, they probably didn't start learning with inventing lighting effects is all I'm saying. Just my two cents.
    My main idea is to understand what I am looking at when I draw from observation, and to apply that when working from imagination. I use references constantly, but I would like to know how to use it to mould it to my needs. Instead of simply copying contour for contour, shape for shape I can use what I see and add or remove to fit my drawing. One can only go so far as just saying "this looks okay" to "Oh, this shading looks like that because there's a reflected light coming from this area, and the main lighting is coming from here, ect" I am not inventing lighting literally as the book I mentioned spoke of, but instead understanding why light looks this or this way on a basic object to relate in a specific reference or set-up, so I can render in a more suitable way.

    The idea of using shapes and a light to me would be tricky. There's too many variables that could come in that would confuse me. I'd rather understand from an artist who already knows and can explain in further detail through words or their own drawings. They've probably used specific lighting, specially-made objects and/or perhaps a specific white or color background/surface as photographers use.

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    The best approach is to get yourself a collection of objects as mentioned - and a light. Try to eliminate/minimize secondary or ambient light and just draw them. There are many books on light/shad/value - one of the best books for drawing is Deborah Rockman's "Drawing Essentials" - she basically covers everything one needs to know. It is somewhat advanced maybe - just depends on where you are in your understanding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    There are many books on light/shad/value - one of the best books for drawing is Deborah Rockman's "Drawing Essentials" - she basically covers everything one needs to know. It is somewhat advanced maybe - just depends on where you are in your understanding.
    LOL, Drawing Essentials again.
    I hope you aren't Mr. Rockman. Er-hem.

    Btw, I got that book and it's very good.
    The only thing, though, is that if she puts in exercises in the book to complement each theory, wow. Overall, good book : 4.5 / 5 stars.

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  19. #14
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    Ha! I know - I think I've helped sell a few by now! I just think her book covers everything so well - I'm glad you like it. And I do agree, some excercises might be good but I think she designed the book as a textbook for college courses so the excercises would be directed by the teacher - also she gives plenty of examples so you can just design your own excercises.

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  21. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    The best approach is to get yourself a collection of objects as mentioned - and a light. Try to eliminate/minimize secondary or ambient light and just draw them. There are many books on light/shad/value - one of the best books for drawing is Deborah Rockman's "Drawing Essentials" - she basically covers everything one needs to know. It is somewhat advanced maybe - just depends on where you are in your understanding.
    Thank you for your honesty. To quell any curiosity: I've done drawing 101 in college around 2008, been doing independent study ever since. I admit when I was a teenager I was one of those wannabe anime artists. But after really being pushed through the reality of what it takes to be an actual artist I decided to grow a stiff upper lip and ban myself from any sort of anime/cartooning until I know the basics. I already have that Scenery book by Jack Hamm that you mentioned in another thread, also have Keys To Drawing, Some of Betty Edwards, Bridgman's, Joseph Sheppard's...I understand the advanced concepts to a textbook level. It's the actual practicing and "doing" that I am working on.

    And consider me another future owner of Drawing Essentials. (I know books can't solve everything but after seeing your sketchbook and reading on your life drawing observations, I am trusting you that it will probably be one of the last drawing books I will buy for a while since it covers the basics.)

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  23. #16
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    Cool - those are all good books - especially the Betty Edwards and of course the Bridgman. And that's cool you've got the Jack Hamm book - I always recommend going through that with a stack of paper and doing each concept with your own drawings - about the first 78 pages are great.

    The Rockman book is really good - it should take you a long way. Starting a sketchbook thread and posting your progress is a great way to move forward too.

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    On the common suggestion by everyone who posted I went ahead and bought a cheap set of soft foam geometric shapes from amazon. Here's hoping it will help with studying how light falls onto objects.

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    Breasts and butts are basic rounded forms with some pyramidal aspects. WOT..

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  27. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Two Listen View Post

    Already have that page printed out and in my notebook; it's an excellent reference; thank you.

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