Types of Lighting

April 24, 2012 in Figure Drawing by joanvienot

I think of lighting as being one of three primary types:  silhouette, which has the most impact if the shape is recognizable by its external contour;  high contrast, which treats all of the lighted areas as one light value, and treats all of the shadowed areas as one dark value, or perhaps using only 3 or 4 values; and the last type of lighting, full gradual shading ranging from white through the entire value scale to black, which sometimes is referred to as chiaroscuro, exmplified by the image found in the Art Studio Chalkboard website.

I rarely work on a figure drawing after I get back to my home studio, except to correct a glaring mistake, or to clean up a smudge here or there.  But two weeks ago, the model gave us a beautiful pose, and I was unhappy with the drawing I made during the figure drawing session.  So I took a new sheet of paper, and redrew the pose using brown ink, showing only the primary two or three values, and leaving a lot of the edges undefined where light was hitting them.  This treatment gives the drawing a completely different feeling.

The pose interested me because the model was leaning down with his elbow and forearm on one knee, which foreshortened his torso.

Most of my images are available for purchase.  Contact me if you are interested. — Joan Vienot