Washed out skin tone---help! [finished]
Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Washed out skin tone---help! [finished]

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    110
    Thanks
    52
    Thanked 18 Times in 14 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Question Washed out skin tone---help! [finished]

    So I tried to fix my previous woman's face and flesh out the skintone. Beforehand her anatomy is obviously off and she's basically white. I feel like I've pushed it a bit further and corrected some of the anatomical issues, but I'm sure I could improve.

    Any tips? Advice?

    I want to keep pushing it. Will post final product soon since I finally have time to draw again (quit my second job) and want to get better.

    [EDIT: I think I've spent as much time on this as I'm prepared to. Time to move onto newer things. Below you'll see my progress from bottom to top.]

    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by Hauxe; February 28th, 2012 at 06:16 PM.
    Sketchbook.
    DeviantArt.
    Follow Me On Tumblr!

    “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.” -Oliver Goldsmith

    "I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later. " -Mitch Hedberg
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    516
    Thanks
    95
    Thanked 173 Times in 162 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Do you have reference?

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    289
    Thanks
    41
    Thanked 102 Times in 99 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Colors and saturation are totally relative. I'd suggest darkening, working on, rendering the woman's hair. That will give you a better idea of where you're at. Reference will definitely help. Keep in mind that skin has blood running righttt beneath it. You'll need to think about touches of warmth and cool in certain areas.

    Study Donato. He's a total master of skin tones. Check this post for explanation: http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2010...-with-mud.html

    Please Sir, I'd like some more.

    www.rogersewardart.com

    Facebook

    Twitter
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to rseward For This Useful Post:


  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,169
    Thanks
    733
    Thanked 585 Times in 314 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Get the structure correct before you worry about colors. Painting a lot of portraits in grayscale are an efficient means to learn to paint the form itself properly, but start with the basics - cubes, spheres and cones - and expand from there.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wooster, OHIO
    Posts
    207
    Thanks
    70
    Thanked 105 Times in 74 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Agree w hexo. You need to work on your drawing skills. Just curious: you said you know the anatomy is off. So why not fix it first? You aren't helping yourself by spending so much time on skintones when you need to work on anatomy. It's like worrying about painting a car and worrying about a spotless finish when it has a bunch of big dents in it...

    Minimal art went nowhere. - Sol LeWitt

    DA
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    110
    Thanks
    52
    Thanked 18 Times in 14 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Thanks for the responses guys.

    Avvatar: Yes, I'll put it below. Although I made the really dumb decision to use a girl with a different skin color. (I'm bad enough drawing white girls, and I am a white girl)

    rseward: Thanks for the link. Really great advice, I'll try to keep it in mind for the future. I know I need to work on the hair. I have the worst habit of being a stickler when something in a painting makes me unhappy. I'll just try to grind it down into submisson, neglecting the painting as a whole. Trying to work on it.

    Hexo: I love Loomis and probably bring out the books again. Somehow I need to make painting cubes and cones interesting.

    LAG: At first the anatomy was way worse, so I spent a lot of time adjusting it. Right now I know her face is still 'off' but my eye's not good enough to say how, exactly. And I keep going at it because I'm stubborn as hell and won't let something go if it isn't working. (a huge problem of mine.)

    Here's a small update. I hope this looks a little better. I've checked the proportions by drawing lines with the pen tool. I've flipped it every which way. Still I know it's not right but I can't put my finger on it. Her nose is too long right? How am I mucking this up? Also, the reference.

    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Sketchbook.
    DeviantArt.
    Follow Me On Tumblr!

    “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.” -Oliver Goldsmith

    "I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later. " -Mitch Hedberg
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Haifa, Israel
    Posts
    3,841
    Thanks
    2,291
    Thanked 2,227 Times in 1,348 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Hauxe View Post
    Right now I know her face is still 'off' but my eye's not good enough to say how, exactly.
    So don't rely on your eye. Here are two options:

    1. The easier one. Overlay your painting on top of the photo you used as reference, scaling it to the same size. Play with opacity. You'll see all the deviations in proportions that you have made.

    2. The harder one. Desaturate the painting, make it much lighter but not totally invisible, and trace the construction lines on top of it. The center line, the horizontal lines, the symmetric features. You'll see all the deviations from symmetry and perspective you have made.

    If you do that and you still cannot see the deviations, stop painting portraits and go back to studying formal perspective with cubes for a while.

    That said, it's not worth your while to paint something until you have a good solid drawing. Fixing the drawing after you painted it wastes too much work. It is better to spend more time planning, less time painting, than the other way.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to arenhaus For This Useful Post:


  10. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    110
    Thanks
    52
    Thanked 18 Times in 14 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Arenhaus: I did exactly what you said. Here's a quick sketch-over of the features. The eyes are higher than the reference and her nose is longer. But I thought you should never copy a photo reference completely. That's why I've always avoided doing paint-overs. Thanks for the help by the way.

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Sketchbook.
    DeviantArt.
    Follow Me On Tumblr!

    “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.” -Oliver Goldsmith

    "I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later. " -Mitch Hedberg
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    378
    Thanks
    182
    Thanked 234 Times in 139 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Yes, the point of this exercise is to learn what the deviations are so you can do it better next time (or change it by eye, and then compare again).

    The reason it's bad to trace is just that it means you won't learn how to actually draw it. But when you're still learning, trying to copy references accurately is a good way to train your eye and get a sense of what looks right.

    If you combine training your eye by copying references with learning structure (guidelines, anatomy, formal perspective with cubes, basic 3D shapes, etc.) then a) you won't need to rely on reference so much, and b) when you do rely on reference you can make it look better (and learn from it).

    That's basically what learning to draw consists of: first, being accurate with translating what you see to the page, and second, understanding it so you can make up your own pictures. (Note: Even masters don't entirely make up their own image -- they reference heavily because the real world is so complex it's hard to understand it all from memory. But masters also have skill at choosing their references, or making their own.)


    You said you need to make painting cubes and cones interesting. Sure do! If you're mindlessly copying them it won't be as helpful as if you're thinking about how it's useful, putting them in context, thinking about them. As you can see from my sketchbook, I'm a fan of annotating my stuff because I find making it explicit both more fun and more useful. But you could make it interesting in other ways, such as drawing examples of things you see around you or things you like just using the basic shapes.

    For example, let's say you're practicing spheres and you have a thing for bald guys. Or maybe you don't necessarily have a thing for them, but you at least find them more interesting than drawing endless red balls. After you do a couple nice shaded balls, you can put this into practice by drawing Patrick Stewart. Then you can practice reflected colour by drawing him leaning against a blue wall. Or whatever. This is kind of a convoluted example and it might be more efficient to use simpler ones, but you get the idea.

    Sketchbook | Composition tutorial
    @LulieArt - Twitter, where I post useful links, tips, and neat art-related things I stumble across.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Lulie For This Useful Post:


  13. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Western Canada
    Posts
    35
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Although this thread seems to be focusing on anatomy issues rather than your fist question regarding skin tone, I just wanted to say that using too much white can create problems in skin tone. My painting prof told me a trick to skin saying simply, don't use white, use yellow to lighten. However, your more recent working of the portrait looks much better, good job!

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to SCrane For This Useful Post:


  15. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    378
    Thanks
    182
    Thanked 234 Times in 139 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    SCrane: That might be useful as a rule of thumb, but note it won't work if
    - You're painting the specular highlights (the shiny reflections that women powder their nose to minimise -- they take on the colour of the light source),
    - You're already using quite warm tones in your mixing (don't want to make them look orange...),
    - The scene has a colour cast (e.g. the light source in the scene has a coloured tint, like a blue spotlight), which shifts everything to a particular colour that means the actual paints you use for the skin need to be more blue-grey than yellow for them to look right,
    - You're drawing someone with quite cool tinted skin (for example sometimes very pale people, and no doubt certain ethnicities have cooler skin tones than others).

    You could use yellow as a base and then mix in blues or whatever to adjust to taste, but relying on that rule of thumb will lead to a lot of unnecessary mixing. Instead, try to understand colour mixing in terms of 3D space. (Also see this page for more examples and how to think about colour mixing.) Once you understand that, all you really need to do is have the desired colour in mind and it becomes natural to mix to it. (Of course there are dozens of tricks that can help too, but this is the fundamental idea.)

    I think the main issue with the skin tone here is simply not being sure what it should be. This could be fixed by referencing the colour of someone with the desired skin tone, rather than someone of a different ethnicity and then guessing.

    Sketchbook | Composition tutorial
    @LulieArt - Twitter, where I post useful links, tips, and neat art-related things I stumble across.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  16. The Following User Says Thank You to Lulie For This Useful Post:


  17. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    110
    Thanks
    52
    Thanked 18 Times in 14 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Lulie: Haha one quick sketch of Patrick Stewart coming up. Also, thanks for the lay down of the knowledge. Those links you posted will be a great help while I'm trying to sharpen my rendering skills.

    Scrane: I tried throwing a little bit of yellow in there. But I think Lulie had a point, choosing a reference with a woman of a different race than my piece probably messed me up. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Here is the latest head shot of the girl. The right hand side/ shadowed part of her face bothers me tremendously, but I feel like there's not much more I can do at this point. I think I'll work on it a bit more, throw in the details and call it a day. There is a lot of practicing I have to do, and being a stickler with this piece is starting to grate on me.

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Sketchbook.
    DeviantArt.
    Follow Me On Tumblr!

    “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.” -Oliver Goldsmith

    "I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later. " -Mitch Hedberg
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  18. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    110
    Thanks
    52
    Thanked 18 Times in 14 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Arrow

    Okay I really want to work on something else. I know she isn't perfect, and I'd really love to hear any tips on how to make her look more realistic (specifically the skin). I know her neck is hashed, but I feel like I've learned all I can from this piece. I'm pretty happy with the progress I made though. Any help is much, much appreciated. Thanks everyone!

    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Sketchbook.
    DeviantArt.
    Follow Me On Tumblr!

    “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.” -Oliver Goldsmith

    "I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later. " -Mitch Hedberg
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  19. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    547
    Thanks
    90
    Thanked 287 Times in 213 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Whereever light hits: More intense color. Any red/blue/green/yellow/whatever element will shine in its own color the most intensive.
    Wherever shadow lies: less intensive color. Any object's color will be broken by its own complementary, become also darker, and eventually adds more of negative space color (usually dark blue, when sunlight is pale yellowish).

    Like many peope seem to make this mistake, you also did it visa versa. You colors have the highest saturation in shadow, while they pale out in light.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  20. The Following User Says Thank You to Swamp Thing For This Useful Post:


  21. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    378
    Thanks
    182
    Thanked 234 Times in 139 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Skin tones are looking nice now!

    The nose is looking a bit long, though.

    Swamp Thing - That breaks the principle of uniform saturation. The phenomenon of shadows becoming less saturated only happens when the ambient light is a different colour from the direct light (so, outside on a sunny day the ambient light is largely blue, for things in shadow facing the sky, or green, for things in shadow facing the grass). FWIW, it is possible for shadows to get saturated if they're right next to something very saturated of near the same colour (though that's not the case here).

    There is also a phenomenon of the shadows taking on the complementary of the light, but that's an optical thing and it isn't really -- to be realistic, you need to reproduce the stimulus that our eyes take in, not the result after the processing they do.

    You can do this if you want to deliberately exaggerate the subjective experience of colour, but it's not technically correct if you want to paint something true to life.

    Paling out in the light does happen! But only when it's a specular highlight (or if it's a photo, the highlights that aren't specular might bleach out too if it's over-exposed). The highlights here aren't specular, though, so you're right about these ones.

    By the way, I highly recommend reading huevaluechroma.com. It's a bit dense, but myths about colour and light are everywhere so it's worth the effort.

    Hauxe - See discussion above. In short: the shadows shouldn't be more saturated than the areas in full light. If anything, they should take on the colour of the ambient light -- which depends on what's around in the background, but if you assume it's the same colour as the main light, they should be the same saturation as the area in full light.
    Be careful about desaturating your highlights, because they'll look like specular highlights (which are the type of highlights you get on shiny, wet or smooth objects -- doing these wrong on skin can result in a waxy look), though to my untrained eyes it looks fine.

    Sketchbook | Composition tutorial
    @LulieArt - Twitter, where I post useful links, tips, and neat art-related things I stumble across.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  22. The Following User Says Thank You to Lulie For This Useful Post:


  23. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    547
    Thanks
    90
    Thanked 287 Times in 213 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Not sure if I get you right, but how I understand it, it's wrong if you think that every color stays the same tone/saturation, weather it is lightened or shaded. Therefore we treat sunlight (very, very pale yellow) as to be natural (not only because this is where light makes color pup out for us) while any other color just makes it look artificial. Added to that, not combining warm and cold color just results in bad color balance. Indoors, shadows of course are more neutral, however still loosing intensity. Now this picture has no signs of ambient light, the blue background even adds to the imagination of a natural light source, plus it is always the better option for contrast/color balance.

    Highlights usually are not what you consider as lightened, it is more a form of total reflection. That's why strong reflecting surface tends to be highlighted/reflecting stronger than faint surface (like skin).

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  24. The Following User Says Thank You to Swamp Thing For This Useful Post:


  25. #17
    Elwell's Avatar
    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,212
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,666 Times in 5,020 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Hauxe View Post
    But I thought you should never copy a photo reference completely.
    Being able to duplicate your reference accurately (life, photo, whatever) is the first step towards not having to. If you were learning to play an instrument, you would never say "I thought I should change some of the notes so I wouldn't be copying."


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  26. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Elwell For This Useful Post:


  27. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    378
    Thanks
    182
    Thanked 234 Times in 139 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Thing View Post
    Not sure if I get you right, but how I understand it, it's wrong if you think that every color stays the same tone/saturation, weather it is lightened or shaded.
    Right, I didn't: it depends what the colour of light hitting each area is. If the colour of light hitting every area is the same (for example, in a white room with a white light), then it does stay the same saturation and it doesn't shift in hue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Thing View Post
    Therefore we treat sunlight (very, very pale yellow) as to be natural (not only because this is where light makes color pup out for us) while any other color just makes it look artificial.
    I'm not exactly sure how this follows from the last sentence. The reason we treat sunlight as natural/neutral is because a) it has a large range of spectral frequencies, and b) because our eyesight has evolved to treat it as such (in two ways: first, our eyesight favours the slight yellow tint, and second our eyes try to convert any major lightsource that's white-ish to white, hence we see fluorescent lights as white even though they have a green tint).

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Thing View Post
    Added to that, not combining warm and cold color just results in bad color balance.
    It can do, but that's getting into colour harmony and tastefulness rather than accuracy to life. It's important to know when you're diverting from for artistic reasons, rather than using rules of thumb and not knowing where reality ends and artistic practice takes over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Thing View Post
    Indoors, shadows of course are more neutral, however still loosing intensity.
    They usually lose more chroma, yes, just because it's not possible to get the same intensity in shadow colours. (See the Munsell system.) But they stay the same saturation (i.e. the colours don't lose any more intensity than they have to in order to get darker. The colours are not mixing with other colours to give the desaturated look).

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Thing View Post
    Now this picture has no signs of ambient light, the blue background even adds to the imagination of a natural light source, plus it is always the better option for contrast/color balance.
    It does show signs of ambient light, namely: if there were no ambient light, the shadows would be pitch black. Ambient light is the thing that brings shadows out of total darkness.

    So yeah, it could be that the ambient light has this blue tint of the background. In which case, the shadows (facing the blue) should slightly take on that hue, which may mean desaturating them (at least for the colours opposite to blue, like oranges or yellows).

    My point is just that you have to take a position on where the ambient light is coming from (what its colour is) when you're making a picture, if you want to make it look realistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Thing View Post
    Highlights usually are not what you consider as lightened, it is more a form of total reflection. That's why strong reflecting surface tends to be highlighted/reflecting stronger than faint surface (like skin).
    Sorry, I had trouble parsing this. Are you saying that surfaces that are very reflective tend to have more highlights? If so, yes, because that's basically the definition of specular highlights. Specular = relating to or having the properties of a mirror, aka reflection.

    I should note my focus here is more to do with the science of light and how we see colour, rather than tasteful colour schemes.

    Hauxe - I hope this semi-tangent is interesting/useful to you. If not, please say and it can be 'taken outside'.

    Sketchbook | Composition tutorial
    @LulieArt - Twitter, where I post useful links, tips, and neat art-related things I stumble across.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  28. The Following User Says Thank You to Lulie For This Useful Post:


  29. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    547
    Thanks
    90
    Thanked 287 Times in 213 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Lulie View Post
    Right, I didn't: it depends what the colour of light hitting each area is. If the colour of light hitting every area is the same (for example, in a white room with a white light), then it does stay the same saturation and it doesn't shift in hue.
    Practically, this is right, however you forget one important thing: We see the world through our human eyes, and therefore very subjective sight. Let's take the example of a room that is lightened by artificial light. Our brain plays part here. As soon as one color is dominating, we will automatically define its complementary in the opposite (where the light doesn't reach as well). Let's take the example with a night scene. We see the night, if there are no lights, usually very black. As soon as we spot a light source, which will be turning out to be very yellow, we will automatically start to interprete it into our general view, and the sky will all of a sudden turn into a dark blue. This is, because we define complementary colors for contrast.


    I'm not exactly sure how this follows from the last sentence. The reason we treat sunlight as natural/neutral is because a) it has a large range of spectral frequencies, and b) because our eyesight has evolved to treat it as such (in two ways: first, our eyesight favours the slight yellow tint, and second our eyes try to convert any major lightsource that's white-ish to white, hence we see fluorescent lights as white even though they have a green tint).
    The reason for this sentence was leaned on the idea, that you're usually always if possible, going to imitate this kind of light source in your paintings, because it will be looking the most natural. This of course depends also on the type of painting you do. As soon as you draw a character/portrait without a background, we can only speculate about what is the light source.

    It can do, but that's getting into colour harmony and tastefulness rather than accuracy to life. It's important to know when you're diverting from for artistic reasons, rather than using rules of thumb and not knowing where reality ends and artistic practice takes over.
    Like I said before, our human eyes always interprete the complementary into the opposite. If we have cold blue light, shadows will look rather warm. If we have warm yellow light, shadows will have a rather blueish touch. This is not to exaggerate of course. It's just how our brain+eyes inteprete the things we see, and it is probably most realistic, if you draw the things how you as a human person see them, rather then how they are in reality. Especially because colors are also nothing else than wavelenghts, they're just interpretated as colors. How enormously subjective this is, can be also tested out by other tests - stare with your eyes into a colored light source for a while, and you will, after switching area to somewhere with natural light, see everything pretty much in the complementary color to what the light source was from before.


    They usually lose more chroma, yes, just because it's not possible to get the same intensity in shadow colours. (See the Munsell system.) But they stay the same saturation (i.e. the colours don't lose any more intensity than they have to in order to get darker. The colours are not mixing with other colours to give the desaturated look).
    As far as I know, where light doesn't hit as strong, less reflections will reach our eyes = less information on the wavelenght of the object = less intensive color for us to interprete. We also interprete less contrast and general information into shaded areas.


    It does show signs of ambient light, namely: if there were no ambient light, the shadows would be pitch black. Ambient light is the thing that brings shadows out of total darkness.
    Okay, let's not define ambient light as any light source that adds sight into the shadows. Otherwise, ambient light is nearly always the light source. I mean, I get that the picture has very smooth transitions. This however isn't quite right - the neck throws hard shadows, but face parties like nose aren't. It's a typical beginner mistake when drawing portraits, to be afraid of hard edged shadows.


    So yeah, it could be that the ambient light has this blue tint of the background. In which case, the shadows (facing the blue) should slightly take on that hue, which may mean desaturating them (at least for the colours opposite to blue, like oranges or yellows).
    In any case, it will always look strange if you don't add enough respect to the background color, being a part of the picture. As soon as you don't, it will look like the head was cut into the blue, because the interaction will be lost.

    My point is just that you have to take a position on where the ambient light is coming from (what its colour is) when you're making a picture, if you want to make it look realistic.
    And there was my point about natural light. Any other light color looks always artificial.

    Sorry, I had trouble parsing this. Are you saying that surfaces that are very reflective tend to have more highlights? If so, yes, because that's basically the definition of specular highlights. Specular = relating to or having the properties of a mirror, aka reflection.
    Yes, that's what I'm saying. The reason why I said "total reflection", was, because the object will not reflect its own color at this point anymore, but only the color of the light source. But it wont pale out the object's color itself. You may see - even if the light is not white but blue or yellow or whatever, that it becomes very white in the reflection. This is however, because reflected light always is stronger (=lighter and paler), but that only counts for light.

    I should note my focus here is more to do with the science of light and how we see colour, rather than tasteful colour schemes.
    The key imho is not science of light, but science of light in combination with science of how human eyes work (as far as we understand them so them so far).

    Last edited by Swamp Thing; February 29th, 2012 at 08:29 AM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  30. The Following User Says Thank You to Swamp Thing For This Useful Post:


  31. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    110
    Thanks
    52
    Thanked 18 Times in 14 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Swamp Thing and Lulie- by all means keep going, I've learned a lot by reading your little debate. Thanks! I think I'll take what I've gathered and do a couple sketches practicing with warm light/cool shadows and indoor/outdoor lighting.

    Elwell- I get where you're coming from, especially when drawing from life and masters, but I've read referencing a photo completely gives you a skewed idea of form and anatomy. So this isn't always the case?

    Sketchbook.
    DeviantArt.
    Follow Me On Tumblr!

    “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.” -Oliver Goldsmith

    "I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later. " -Mitch Hedberg
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  32. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    378
    Thanks
    182
    Thanked 234 Times in 139 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Swamp Thing -

    I was taking into account the way our brain and eyes process light. But despite it being subjective, we still need to emulate the stimulus, not the result of the processing.

    We need to put paint/pixels on the canvas such that the photons that go into our eyes cause our brain to do more or less the same thing as it does when looking at life/the reference. If we paint the result of that processing, our brain will still process it, so it's effectively been processed twice (once by the viewer's brain, once by the painter's brain), and so it will look different.

    For example, if you wanted to paint the classic chess board illusion, the colour you need to paint the area B in shadow will not be what your brain thinks it is, namely a very light value. Instead, you will have to use the same dark value as you used for area A. If you painted it just going by your subjective experience, first it would look wrong (the shadow would look darker than in this picture), and second you wouldn't be able to paint the illusion.


    The problem you described with a yellow light is slightly more complicated -- that's a phenomenon of the brain adjusting white balance/colour cast, which affects everything instead of just a localised area. It might well be worth painting the subjective experience in that case, because when you're looking at a *picture* of something your brain won't be doing as much of that adjustment because you can see outside of the frame. (If the picture filled your vision, that would be different.)


    True point about emulating the colour of the sun for generic/no-background light, but surely that would just be 'white'? Rather than pale yellow. (Unless it was obviously approaching sunset, or something.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Thing View Post
    If we have cold blue light, shadows will look rather warm.
    They will look warm, but they won't be warm. If anything you would have to paint them slightly cold to make it seem warm.

    For example, the first image here with a pink colour cast has a square that looks perfectly cyan. But it's actually slightly pink-ish grey. To paint it to look cyan, you would need to paint the stimulus (pink-ish grey), not the result (cyan).

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Thing View Post
    let's not define ambient light as any light source that adds sight into the shadows. Otherwise, ambient light is nearly always the light source.
    Ambient light always comes from a light source, but indirectly. Ambient light is defined as any light that is hitting stuff that has not come directly from the light source -- for example, scattered in the atmosphere, or bounced off the floor or walls or buildings.

    This is why in space, shadows are pitch black: there's nothing for the light to bounce off. A similar thing happens if you're in a room where all the walls are black: shine a light, and only the areas it hits will light up. Contrast this with a white room, where if you shine a light, it will bounce around like crazy off the walls and light up the shadows much more.


    The thing about smooth vs hard transitions is affected by a) the difference between cast shadows and form shadows, and b) whether the light source is large or small. Ambient light isn't really a factor, unless you're thinking of some kind of strange reflected light that has a different edge hardness than the shadow it's lighting up.

    The neck vs nose shadow is cast vs form shadow. Cast shadows are harder, form shadows are softer (for a given size of light). So yes, neck shadow should be harder, because it's a cast shadow.


    Good point about pictures looking pasted on if you don't take into account background colour.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Thing View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lulie
    My point is just that you have to take a position on where the ambient light is coming from (what its colour is) when you're making a picture, if you want to make it look realistic.
    And there was my point about natural light. Any other light color looks always artificial.
    Not sure I understand this sentence. Ambient light is natural? I was assuming a white light and then whatever colour the ambient light is (which is usually a variety depending on the objects/walls/sky/ground to the nearest faces of the subject).


    When I said 'science of light and how we see colour', I meant the 'how we see colour' part to be referring to the "science of how human eyes work". The gist of what I'm trying to say in this post is that if we just paint what we see, without taking into account that our brains trick us in the ways you described (simultaneous contrast, colour constancy, etc.) and we take action to undo those post-processed effects, then it won't look accurate. Hope that clears things up.


    Hauxe -

    It sort of depends on the photo (what lens was used, how much it was edited, etc.). It will be much less skewed than guessing. But more skewed than looking at something in real life.

    Another thing is that the type of skewed-ness from photos is often more 'acceptable', because people are familiar with photos and if your drawing looks like a photo, at least it looks like something realistic. But I think the point Elwell was making is more that you should be concerned with getting accuracy first, so you can at least minimise the skewedness that happens from not knowing how to copy things accurately. Then you can make sure your concept of anatomy isn't photo-skewed later.

    Sketchbook | Composition tutorial
    @LulieArt - Twitter, where I post useful links, tips, and neat art-related things I stumble across.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  33. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Lulie For This Useful Post:


  34. #22
    Elwell's Avatar
    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,212
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,666 Times in 5,020 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Hauxe View Post
    Elwell- I get where you're coming from, especially when drawing from life and masters, but I've read referencing a photo completely gives you a skewed idea of form and anatomy. So this isn't always the case?
    Photography can do that, certainly. Your problem is that you don't know what you don't know, so you're not in a position to make those sorts of decisions yet. As you train your eye, hand, and brain, you will be, but the first steps are 1: to be able to understand what you are seeing, and 2: to get your hands to do what your brain wants them to. And for both of those, copying, despite the bad rap it gets, is exactly what you need.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  35. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Elwell For This Useful Post:


  36. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    547
    Thanks
    90
    Thanked 287 Times in 213 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Lulie View Post
    Swamp Thing -

    They will look warm, but they won't be warm. If anything you would have to paint them slightly cold to make it seem warm.
    That is the point. You are not adding red orange or yellow exaggerated, but you break the color. Of course, what comes out is, if you analyze the spot, by no means a warm color, however - broken with a warm color on top of the cold, working for the overall picture. If you draw a portrait of a person standing outside (natural light + blue sky), and you add cold blues into the shadowed areas, it will - in combination with the rest - look rather blue, however mixed up well, it will be not blue but a dark yellow (tending more to green than the lightened skin does). However, for this, you need to add a different color = the shadow color will be not the same as the light color of the same surface. It will be in range, but with a tendency to the color you broke it with.

    Ambient light always comes from a light source, but indirectly. Ambient light is defined as any light that is hitting stuff that has not come directly from the light source -- for example, scattered in the atmosphere, or bounced off the floor or walls or buildings.

    This is why in space, shadows are pitch black: there's nothing for the light to bounce off. A similar thing happens if you're in a room where all the walls are black: shine a light, and only the areas it hits will light up. Contrast this with a white room, where if you shine a light, it will bounce around like crazy off the walls and light up the shadows much more.
    But this is also, why you will hardly ever see any element staying with the same value/color in light and shadow. There is always something around affecting the objects own color. May it be negative space or close elements reflecting their own color. The interaction between elements and their athmosphere is pretty much always asking for breaking/changing color, otherwise the cut-in effect will show up.

    Not sure I understand this sentence. Ambient light is natural? I was assuming a white light and then whatever colour the ambient light is (which is usually a variety depending on the objects/walls/sky/ground to the nearest faces of the subject).
    I ment that it is not common to have the main light source and the ambient light being the same type color.

    When I said 'science of light and how we see colour', I meant the 'how we see colour' part to be referring to the "science of how human eyes work". The gist of what I'm trying to say in this post is that if we just paint what we see, without taking into account that our brains trick us in the ways you described (simultaneous contrast, colour constancy, etc.) and we take action to undo those post-processed effects, then it won't look accurate. Hope that clears things up.
    Well, we basically are tricking people with our drawings, creating the illusions that are appearing in reality.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 1

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •