Copic and Imagination International have all sorts of wonderful new educational tools coming out this spring, as well as providing you with new learning opportunities with the Intermediate Level Certification program. One of the latest topics of learning has been the sharing of additional information regarding shadows. I am looking forward to getting the new book, written by Marianne Walker, in to our store (watch in the education section for new DVD's and books) and I will most definitely be studying it to learn more about how she approaches shadows. Before that happens though I thought I would throw my hat in the ring and share some basic information with you as to how I have tried to help the younger set learn more about shadows.
Before continuing I just have to share a little side-story that just brings a huge smile to my face. When Maddi, my daughter, was a baby and just learning to sit and play with the toys around her, we were playing in her room. The bright overhead light next to her closet was creating a shadow of her body on the floor. It was so well defined that you could see a complete outline of her body on the carpet. She reached over and tried to pick up her shadow by her ears. As she would lean over, it would move. It was absolutely fascinating and magical to watch her for the next few seconds as she discovered her shadow and how it moved and changed. Oh how I wished that I would have had a video camera running, but I was not about to leave that special moment and so it only replays in my mind and brings back such sweet memories.
For today's card I wanted to keep it sugary sweet and what could be sweeter than Karen's adorable Bennie Bear holding a box of truffles for his sweetheart?
You will find that some of my ways of teaching are so very basic. This is because I truly do enjoy working with kids and sharing basics. I hope that the information I share will be useful and not too "elementary." I don't know if I have ever mentioned that I once was a certified teacher. Graduating from college with a double degree I first followed my passion to educate by teaching third and fourth grade students. After changing careers and utilizing the second degree by following my heart, I became a professional interior designer, but I did not lose that passion for educating children and so I have volunteered in my daughter's school as an art docent. So much of the way I teach has been geared towards children. I know that you are not children and so sometimes I worry that I'm being a little too basic, but I think it works for those who are visual learners.
Understanding shadows by using diagrams can be VERY helpful, but there is nothing like the true "science" behind experimenting with those shadows. What I would like to encourage each of you to do is actually "study" real shadows. If you have never really studied and "seen" shadows it is hard to emulate them in your work. For today's post I grabbed one of my daughter's teddy bears and a flashlight.
As I shot the pictures and had my husband hold the flashlight in varying positions it was easy to capture a wide variety of shadow positions and lengths. You will even notice a secondary shadow based on the direction coming from the overhead light. When coloring my image I decided to eliminate that shadow.
Simply play with a flashlight and an object, snapping photos as you go to reference when you go back to begin coloring shadows.
Please try to ignore the secondary shadows created by snapping these pictures. I thought it might be easier to share this shadow "lesson" by being able to move teddy out of the way, but now he is creating his own shadows in these photos - LOL!
I then moved Bennie out of the way so that you could see the outline I had drawn.
I then colored in the shadow using a range of markers from W00 through W2.
Everything was going swimmingly as I worked on my image softening the edges with a colorless blender to make the shadows disappear along the edges and then my OOPS moment. I put the wrong cap on my marker and accidentally put the darkest color to the edge. No correcting that error. So on to attempt number two.
This time I decided to try a different photo and used the image bear above as my example.
Remember that shadows are darkest right next to your object and get lighter as you move away. If your light source is close by your shadow will be much more crisp, if your light source is a long way away your shadow will be barely visible.
Shadows move and change depending on the direction of the light, how close the light is to the object and so much more. Experimentation, playing with your flashlight and then snapping photos can be THE best learning tool when it comes to figuring out shadows. The key once again is to simply enjoy the process and not make yourself crazy if it doesn't go right the first time! Simply give it a try and have fun - as you practice and experiment I can assure you that you will get better. It is like everything in life - you have to try it, then you have to practice and pretty soon you will start looking at what you have created and simply grin from ear to ear because you will think, "I did it!"
Thank you for once again stopping in here at the CLASSroom - I hope that you learned something and perhaps had a moment in the day where you just smiled!