Cast shadow is a great
compliment to painting light. Dali is a master of cast shadow
and uses it often.
Dali, Young Virgin Autosodomized by Her Own Chastity,
There are different types of
shadows and a cast shadow is one in which it falls from
an object. A good example of it is when you are walking on
a sunny day and your shadow is tagging along, you wave and it
In the Dali
above I circled in green several of of the cast shadows. There
are about seven smaller cast shadows, can you find them?
cast shadow is quite different than a shadow that molds the form
of an object. Here we are only going to concentrate on the cast
In this simple line drawing
outlined a ball and its cast shadow.
It's very important that the
outer edge of the cast shadow moves back and forward through
space, much like an orbit, or it will flatten your image and
destroy the light affect.
When I draw a cast shadow,
I think in terms of it rotating around an object, as if it's in
When shadowing in a cast
shadow. it's important see the middle tones inside of it--those tones
get darker as they get closer to the edge.
As you shadow it in, it's also important to
differentiate the front and the back of the cast shadow.
Here I faded the shadow as it moves back in space.
Strong looking cast shadows
are the product of direct light. Bright sunlight and artificial
light casts them. If
your light source is indirect, like on a cloudy day or northern
light, the cast shadow will be fuzzy.
Below is the same idea, but the
surface is folded material.
Often there are many cast
shadows in one painting. Be sure to place all of them in space by
differentiating their tonal differences.
Going back to the Dali, you can
see how much advantage he takes using cast shadows. If you are
ever using direct light, take full advantage of cast shadows and
they will serve you very well.
I hope you enjoyed seeing shadows in a fresh light.
New York, January 13th, 2007