7/1/08

SHADOWS

Last night at dusk, I was lucky enough to see a little hummingbird quickly inspect my flowers. I think he was grocery shopping. He didn't stay long at all.

This is another painting from the archives of twenty years of watercolor. Painting shadows has always been an exciting thing to create. This shadow on the side of our house caught my eye, and I had to paint it.

Shadows technically are darker, grayed down colors of the object they fall on. Their edges are hardest closet to the object they come from and get progressively softer the farther they are from it. Generally, shadows are also a bit warmer and darker closest to the object, and get cooler and lighter as they move farther away.

With those guidelines in mind, I try to paint shadows that are full of interest, adjusting the colors to be more than just 'gray,' adjusting the edges to be varied and softer, etc. Sometimes, I make sure that the object's local color also bounces some color into the shadow area near it.

I took Davey's Grey and Payne's Gray out of my palette about fifteen years ago. I think I've used Payne's Gray a couple of times since then but not for shadows. My tube of black watercolor is great to have for the right spot but not ever in a shadow. Shadows have color. Lots of color. Play it up when you paint shadows. Make them delicious.

"EVENING VISITOR" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches, 9 x 22"

9 comments:

Suzanne said...

Wow. I've had some pen and inks I made of shadows and have been hesitating to post them. Now that I see your beautiful rendition, I think I will!

Pablo Villicana Lara said...

I've always wanted to paint those illusive shadows on a house but never could figure out how to make them special, now I don't have to cause I'd just be copying yours!
Really lovely.........

Nava said...

Nice!!!! I love this one - allegedly so simple, and yet so enticing to look at. I am also fascinated by shadows, but moistly for my photography. Maybe it's time I give it a try with the brush?

Sandy said...

Oh...wow. This just might be my very favorite ever....I love the shadows, the hummingbird, this is soooo cool..

Trijnie said...

beautiful this pinting with the shadow of the little bird

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

There is a current thread in the Watercolor Workshop forum discussing shadows, this painting and your explanation goes so far with me to illustrate what to be looking for when painting shadows. You are a marvel and so generous to share these with us, thanks so much. I was just soaking up all those colors in that shadow shape and then I discovered the hummingbird shape...surprise! This is just great.

Dawn said...

I look for shadows all the time when I take photos. this is a perfect painting!

RHCarpenter said...

Love those shadows!!!

Nick said...

Gotta echo Pablo on that one!