Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Illustration Friday: Subtract

Just One

Oooo, look at me posting twice in a row! The great suggestions from my previous post had me thinking about my need to learn to use stronger light sources -- something the vast majority of my work in general lacks. So I've taken a whack at it here... also I think my perspective is a little off, what do you think?


marikris said...

Oh, Carmen, that is lovely. The colors are great and I'm not sure what you're seeing as off on your perspective. Although, if the objects are meant to be on the edge of the table (the edge being behind them in the bg), then the green sheet is making it look like the edge curves up on the left side.

So you wanted cc on your shadows and I'll take a stab at it: looking at how the shadows play on the ground plane and looking at the highlights on the fruits, the green cloth and the adorable mice, there is a distinct conflict about where the actual source of light is coming from. On the right side, the light seems to come from an angle, and the shadows on the bodies of the fruits indicate this is so. However, the shadow underneath the bowl looks like the light is coming from slightly above and in front of the items.

Looking now at the blue mug's shadow, it looks like the light is similar to that of the fruits in the bowl, as if it's coming from an angle from the left (the shadow angles to the right). However, the shadow should start on the edge of the mug instead of to the left of the mug between the lady mouse's legs. I should say that better: the shadow should originate from the base of the object that is throwing it.

The mice appears to have shadows similarly angled to the fruits as well.

The cloth's shadow is closer to it's body, making me think that the light source is more overhead. However, the highlights on the cloth makes it seem as if the light is more to our left and not overhead.

Also, your shadows overlap on the right side and there are clear edges. I think they should all form one shadow instead of several shadows on top of each other if it's a single light source. The mug should also cast a shadow on either Mister Mouse or the bowl, depending on where the light source is. Or maybe it will refract the light and cast shadows on both.

I'm sorry, it's hard to verbalize these and I feel like I'm being very confusing. It may help to put a piece of tracing paper over the drawing and vector out the lines of where the light seems to be coming from according to the highlights and the shadows. Then figure out exactly where you want the light to come from, how big the light source and how far away it is from the objects (the closer it is > the bigger it is> the more diffused it will be (softer lighting) > the more it will wrap around the objects. I am tackling this in flash photography right now lol.

Then when you redraw, it might help to draw the spot for your light source on another tracing paper, then vector the lines of where the highlights will fall and where the shadows will be cast so you have a clear idea before you paint. Hope this helps you and that I didn't confuse you very much lol.

<3 Kris

Steve Harpster said...

I think this looks really nice. The fruit has such a nice soft feel to it. I like the shadows and I think you're trying to capture two light sources here not just one and you would get a play of shadows one on top of the other like you've shown here.

The glass or cup could be defined more. I thought it was a candle at first... just needs something so that on first read you know it's a cup.

I can't tell if the perspective is off by looking at it. I think it looks good to me, but a good way to tell if your drawing is funky is by flipping it in the computer or holding it up to a mirror. Something I still forget to do.

Carmen Keys said...

Thanks guys! Hey, that's a good idea about the tracing paper. Then I can make my mistakes on *it*.
I was trying to make the light source come from one direction with a lamp, but truthfully I guess there really were two sources in my photographs because I also had a window in daylight above my objects at the same time. If I had a floodlight (or whatever those things are called for photography) I'll bet this would be easier!
Hm, good food for thought though. I must keep working on my shadows. :)

Christy said...

Hi ya Carmen,
Another adorable layout. :) I love the whole idea...your painting skills make this so soft and approachable. I do however agree with Kris's very specific suggestions. She explained the cross points of the shadows very well. I think they should all merge into one shadow basically and the shadows are not quite in line with each other right now. It isn't obvious at first glance at all though. I do love the bleed of colors in the shadows of the mice and I think there should be more consistency with the mug shadows there. I would maybe suggest darker shadows under and on the bowl's underside because with such a strong light source, it might be quite dark there and offer more depth. :)
I love the peaches and all the neat details. Repost it for sure if you decide to tinker with it.

sara.b said...

I simply adore this illo Carmen! I agree with what has been said, really, so far. One thing that captures me with your work, which mine lacks, is the softness and boldness you have with color. I personally like how the shadows overlay...makes the table more interesting to me. My imagination envisioned glass surface, which would then have a play with shadows like that. Made the piece more interesting. :)

I think adding darker shadows near the edge of the fruit bowl would add some more depth, but my only concern with that is it would make it right heavy and not balanced. You would have to do something to the left near the cloth to balance it weight wise. I also agree about the cup.

BEAUTIFUL color usage, I'm SO so inspired right now it hurts. :P

pete said...

This one's beautiful...nuff said!