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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings.

I have recently began painting again. I am setting up simple compositions of single objects with a single light source. I am having difficulty achieving believable cast shadows. For example, if the background is tint, say, light red (pink) what colors do I mix to indicate the shadow? Or light green?

It seems I can't quite get it. I have worked in tempera and acrylic. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Greetings.

I have recently began painting again. I am setting up simple compositions of single objects with a single light source. I am having difficulty achieving believable cast shadows. For example, if the background is tint, say, light red (pink) what colors do I mix to indicate the shadow? Or light green?

It seems I can't quite get it. I have worked in tempera and acrylic. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
Hi cognizant:

I just joined the forum today and I think I can be of some help. Before I get into detail, could you give me a specific example of the color of an object you want to bring into shadow and what color the surface will be on which the shadow falls. Also, give me the lighting of the picture in general. Is it to be daylight, sunny or cloudy of evening, etc. These factors will come into play to a certain extent.

In general, to bring a color into shadow, using additive colors (like paints), you add the compliment of the selected color. The farther you are off from the true compliment, the muddier the shadow will be, so selection of the pigment is critical.

If the raw pigments are too (rich) that is saturated, tone down with a blend of white and/gray. When the shading is down to where you want it, you might have to cool or warm with additional colors.

smgallery
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
smgallery -

I am painting plastic lizards with both some natural light and lit with fluorescent light. I have two paintings, a greenish lizard on a pink surface and a tan lizard on a pink surface. I did try to mix compliments, but those mixtures seem to be too gray or too dark.

I understand I should include a little reflected color from the object itself, but tempera is proving to be exceptionally difficult.

Thanks for any tips!
 

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Hi Cognizant,

That throws new light on it (LOL).

Since you're using natural light, similar to fluorescent, your shadows should be cool in tone, so they wouldn't have to be warmed by adding warm colorant (to the slight yellowish side).

So---For the greenish lizard shadow, your surface the shadow will fall on already provides the pinkish complimentary component.

Here's the trick. Tone the greenish color you've made using Liquitex or equivalent acrylic gloss medium to the pale-ness you need. DickBlick.com is a great supply source.This technique keeps the body up and the color intensity of the shade down. Tweek with thinner to get the right flow out.

Now, for the tan lizard in the pink surface. Lets just try toning the tan lizard color way down as I mentioned above and see how it comes out on the pink surface.

Let me know what happens and we can go on from there.

Cheers,
smgallery
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
smgallery -

Thanks for the reply.

I am still working on the lizards, but I want to work the cast shadows first. So, shadows on the surface? As I stated, placing a shadow on a tinted color is driving me crazy! How to go about that!?
 

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smgallery -

Thanks for the reply.


I am still working on the lizards, but I want to work the cast shadows first. So, shadows on the surface? As I stated, placing a shadow on a tinted color is driving me crazy! How to go about that!?[/QUOTE]


Cognizant,

I can help you with that, but first, please give me exact detail as to what you have tried on the shadow. Can you describe the surface? Is it a very pale color? what color is it before you put the shadow on it?

You need to thin a compliment of the surface color way down with the toner, so it's about the same level of color intensity as the surface.

Cheers,
smgallery
 
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