You cant overestimate the importance of lighting in representational art. Its foremost (and most obvious) purpose is illumination: Light enables you to see what youre trying to paint or draw. But this isnt where the story ends. Light also performs other essential functions in your artwork, namely setting a mood.
Set up your model with a light shining from the upper right, then try these variations:
- Soften your subject with a secondary fill light in the lower left.
- Removed that secondary light, creating stronger contrasts.
- Move the primary light closer to the figure, leaving most of the face in shadow.
Now, put the primary light below the model’s chin and try these variations:
- Place a secondary light coming in from the left.
- Take away the secondary light source. This could create a somewhat sinister appearance.
- Finally, move the light farther away from the models chin, creating a softer, more romantic glow.
There are so many textures and patterns in naturein fishes, foliage and rock outcroppingsand I plan to investigate them and then employ them in my compositions in the future, says David Mueller. The second son of cartoonist Robert G. Mueller, hes a graduate of The American Academy of Art in Chicago. Among his recently completed works is a portrait of George Voinovich, former governor of Ohio. His Web site is www.davidmuellerfineart.com.