Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The edge of bright

In his notes on painting, Howard Pyle talks about a quality of color and light that one should try to carefully observe. His theory states that the richest chroma of a color happens on the edge that joins light to shadows. He explains that true color can not happen in the shadows because of the absence of light, and true color is not available in light as well because it is obscured by the quality and color of the light itself. Therefore your purest color should knit your lights and shadows together.
I often find this technique difficult to adhere to, but it is a must when dealing with flesh tones. It adds a translucency to the skin and makes it feel like flesh rather than a painted mannequin.

Since figure drawing is the research and development for illustration, I use it to explore this and many other picture making theories.

1 comment:

rico said...

This rich color marrying shadows and light is truly challenging to illustrate convincingly. It's done beautifully here and also on most of the color illustrations you've done of Laci. The Laci images where you use this technique were one of the first things that really got me looking around for this principle in real life. Interesting stuff sir...