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"Still life remains one of the principal genres of Western art."

Light and matter

The ultimate subject of most drawings is light. Its color, direction, and intensity shape the way that forms appear and contribute to the atmosphere of a drawing. Some artists favor the subtlety of natural light — Giorgio Morandi, one of the finest still life artists of the 20th century, worked only at certain times of day — while others make use of the drama and consistency of artificial light.

lighting the subject

It pays to think as carefully about how you light your subject as the nature of the subject itself. Experiment with light from different angles, making sketches that show the effects on form and shadow. Choose a medium that is suited to the light quality and the surface of the object -charcoal is good for soft, diffuse light, pencil for translucency, and ink for dark shadow.

Flat lighting produces no shadows; the colored background provides form by pushing the figure forward.

Natural side lighting produces subtle shadows and a pleasing three-dimensional quality; the blue color contributes to the solidity of the form.

Natural side lighting produces subtle shadows and a pleasing three-dimensional quality; the blue color contributes to the solidity of the form.

Strong side lighting creates a dramatic and solid rendering of this classical bust. Attention to detail - for example, the highlights in the hair and beard - bring the drawing to life.

Strong side lighting creates a dramatic and solid rendering of this classical bust. Attention to detail - for example, the highlights in the hair and beard - bring the drawing to life.

Light and matter | 53

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

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