Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Concept of Light and Shadow

Susan Sprigg

Concept of Light and Shadow


I.  The pattern of light, form and direction

1. When you paint light make it a pattern.

2. This pattern is related to form and direction.

II.  Movement and direction

1. When you paint direction your paint strokes go vertically over the object.

2. Direction is movement. Increasing light is also movement.

III.  Form

            1. When you paint light you can go across the form of the object to reveal form and not direction.

IV.  Relax and take your time.

            2. Decide if you want direction or movement or both.

3. If you choose both, how are you going to show both?

4. Is movement going to dominate form or vice-a-versa?

5. Maintain your decisions to your six questions. 

(Line, Form/Shapes, Value, Color, Temperature, Chroma.)

6. Maintain your original answer to "what are my interlocking shapes."

7. Maintain the design of your interlocking shapes.

8. Maintain the values you assigned your light shapes and your shadow shapes.

V.  Plane changes

1.  Whenever there is a plane change there is a color change.

2.  Highlights occur at the corners of a plane change.

3.  The color within the plane and its highlighting should be a different color than the plane itself.

VI.  Color

1.  A warn surface takes a cool highlight and vice-a-versa.

2.  What do we see first reds or blues?

3.  How can you use this knowledge to make one light area more important than another?

VII.  The Transition of Light to Shadow

l.  Where the light meets shadow we have:

A plane change

Color change highlight

Color change between surface and highlight

2.  Where light meets shadow look for a place to add a spot of color! This is magic!


            1.  Shadows follow a plane.

2.  Shadows might start at an angle which is directional painting then change to form painting.

3.  So if light first is direction then the shadows continue to switch to form by painting strokes across the form.

VIII.  Focal point, Foreground and Background

1.  Light is seen first then shadow.

2.  Arrange your light on your focal-point-object closest on the forrn to the audience.

3.  Think of foreground and background not as a landscape (foreground,

Midground, background, ie., foreground is the bottom of the canvas

etc. Think of light as the foreground.  Think of shadow as the

background.  So foreground is the light not the placement.


Susan Sprigg:




1.  Answer six questions.

2.  Do thumbnails show interlocking forms.

3.  The interlocking forms are only 2 categories:  light and shadow.

4.  Identify the values of light forms on your thumbnail.

5.  Identify the values of the shadow forms on your thumbnail.

6.  Stick to your decisions.

7.  Start your painting by massing in.

8.  Now paint with color.

9.  Where's the center of interest?  Light will end with the darkest dark.

l0.  Paint your dark planes first.

11.  Next paint the light planes.

l2.  Decide how you are going to stick to the 6 questions' answers and how to move light.

13.  Cool highlights are subordinate to warm highlights.



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Understanding the Nuance of Painting

    Monet was enraged when his work was called spontaneous. He fervently planned, invested his mind, drew on all his artful knowledge in each undertaking,and always challenged himself to produce outstanding pieces. He was obsessively devoted to each piece of work being conceptually perfect.... and people called it spontaneous! How dare they!
    Monet was highly laborious and fevered in concept and execution. He did not depend on accident but his own experience and knowledge of how to achieve nuance:  the sublte difference between colors, their values and temperatures that gave expression to the entire scene.

    My goal and purpose as your instructor is to give you the knowledge-then test you to make sure you understand what you need to know to create great art.  It is all about internalizing the how-to in order to conceptualyze what you imagine. You do it by planning your execution start to finish then, by following your map all the way so you can externalize your dream successfully with the  nuance you intend and your audience in awesome innocence is affected.

Susan Sprigg