for about a year I've been struggling to understand a certain kind of light: the one from an overcast sky that lights the form evenly, flattening it quite a bit. While there are very dark shapes and spots in places, there seem to be no clear borders between "lights" and "shadowshapes". The cast shadows of objects are very weak, sometimes barely there.
In other words, it's the opposite of what Caravaggio does.
These pictures illustrate what I mean:
by Carl von Marr
Waterhouse does it all the time!
by James Gurney:
I've tried to do this kind of thing a few times, and after a few painting attempts over the past 1-2 years I thought I'd understand it. But on my newest painting, more than one person has commented that it looks quite flat and the figures seem to be "floating".
My painting is here:
Why does it look flat? I want it to work with weak cast shadows and diffuse light/no strong, identifiable light source, like Waterhouse has done. What did Waterhouse do differently? Why don't his figures "float"? I thought I had taken care to include the full value range?
Not sure if I'm gonna fix things (or I'd have put this in the critique forum); I'd rather discuss the overcast-sky light principles in general here, so I can learn more about it and try to apply them again in a new painting.
Looking forwards to your thoughts, ideas and knowledge!