How should I treat shad­ows on a char­ac­ter’s body?

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation | Artist Q&A -

Bolton Hole, Eng­land

Loopy­dave replies

There are var­i­ous fac­tors that will af­fect how shad­ows ap­pear on a per­son’s body. Th­ese in­clude the colour and strength of the light cast­ing the shadow, the na­ture of the am­bi­ent light, where on the skin the shad­ows fall, and prox­im­ity of the char­ac­ter’s skin to other coloured ob­jects. What this means is there are no sim­ple rules for cre­at­ing shad­ows, but here are some ba­sic guide­lines.

First, avoid ap­ply­ing flat colours to your shad­ows, be­cause flat colours equals a flat im­age. And ex­pand­ing on this, as well as tonal va­ri­ety, try to use more than one colour in your shad­ows.

Un­less an ob­ject is ac­tu­ally black, try to avoid paint­ing with black be­cause it will deaden the area that it’s used on. As a gen­eral rule of thumb, I like to use cooler, less-sat­u­rated colours in my shad­ows, and warmer colours for my high­lights. An ex­cep­tion, for ex­am­ple, would be a hand hold­ing a red can – as in my ex­am­ple. In this case, I would use the red re­flec­tion in the adjacent shad­ows.

Fi­nally, a shadow’s soft­ness or sharp­ness is dic­tated by the type of light­ing and ob­ject’s shape. Yet be­cause sharper shad­ows help to make an im­age pop more, I like to work my light­ing so I can have a few fea­ture con­trast and/or hard edge shad­ows on show, usu­ally around the neck, un­der the nose or from an arm.

Drink Bere and learn a lit­tle bit about paint­ing shad­ows on skin with Michelan­gelo and co!

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