Light & Shadow

by Alex Castro

Text and pictures from “The Anatomy for Fantasy Artist” book by Glenn Fabry

On your Figures /Statues you need to establish light sources. Use “true” color bulbs in conjunction with fluorescent lighting, which brings out the color pigment. This provides a consistent view of colors. With this combination you get consistency in color whether the figure is viewed outside or inside.

Light Source: It is the manipulation of an external source, projected on the surface of the figure, not permanently painted on the miniature itself, which allows artist to suggest the best illumination for creating depth. The light source is divided into two areas: middle tone, where the color of the object is most apparent, and the highlight which is the brightest section in the area of the middle tone. The highlight is closer to the light and distinctly lighter than the middle tone.

The area turned away from the light is the shadow area and is also divided into two tones: shadow accent and reflected tone. Shadow accent is next to the middle tone. The reflected tone is light that bounces off other objects or off the background and back to the subject. It is important to remember that reflected light is never as bright as the areas in the light.

Cast Shadow is a shadow cast by one form or another. It is darkest where it abuts the object that casts the shadow. As the cast shadow recedes from the object, the tone grows paler, softer and more diffused. The darkest tone in the cast shadow is comparable to the shadow accent, while the paler tone would be comparable to the reflected light.

Written by Alex Castro

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