Il­lu­mi­nat­ing leathers

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1 The first thing I do is put down the mid­tone. Use this op­por­tu­nity to paint in the main shape as ac­cu­rately as you can. Sil­hou­ettes are an im­por­tant tool in com­mu­ni­cat­ing form, and this is great chance to get it right be­fore com­pli­cat­ing things with light and shadow. 2 Study ref­er­ence to get a feel for the type of leather you’re paint­ing. Soft, turn­ing folds need smooth edges, while sharp kinks can be han­dled with hard, bold strokes. When a sur­face folds, the creases that form will be get­ting less light. The deeper the crease, the darker the shadow. 3 For a glossy look, strong light should show where re­flec­tions would go. On leather this is of­ten the crest of each fold. Be sure to paint the sur­face tex­tures that are re­vealed in the light, par­tic­u­larly in the tran­si­tion from light to halftone. This keeps the ma­te­rial from feel­ing too smooth.

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