July 8, 2015

Light & Shadow- A Book Review

Did you know that the Sandy Watercolor Guild has a library? We have several dozen books available for you to check out. Karla would be the person to see about having access to the books and this book shown on the right is one of them.  I checked this out last week and while I'm not quite finished reading it, I thought I would share some information about it with you.

It is all about what the title says: Light and Shadow.  Yup-that's easy right?  Not as easy as it sounds in reality.  There are different types of light which effects the whole image. Light can make a black roof appear to be white and a white house appear to be black! Sounds crazy but it's true and we can express this drama by the way we paint and the color palette we decide to use.

If you work from photographs, as I do, you will appreciate the method William Lawrence uses.  Breaking down the image into just 2 shapes.  One shape would be the light and the 2nd shape being the shadows.  Simple?  It is if you eliminate all the fussy details at first.  Not every photo would work with this method as easily as others.  Finding a photo that is on the simplistic side would certainly help, but even those images with lots of objects can be used.  Solution would be to simply turn the photo upside down, not view them as objects you know, but only as shapes.  Changing the image to black and white, or grayscale, even better!

"It is where edges are lost that shapes are locked into a painting."  William Lawrence

Hope this gives you inspiration to check out our Guild's library!  Or your local library, which also has some fabulous books on watercolor.  Reading books on oils and acrylics can also inspire you, as all the wet media techniques can be used together or separately.  Try acrylic techniques with watercolor if you enjoy experimenting.  You never know what will happen unless you try.  Cindy

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