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Drawing and Painting with Color and Light in Mind

books color Jan 11, 2023

Color and light always play a vital role in my artwork. Though I am mostly known for creating abstract and expressive artwork, I sometimes like to return to my roots. Sometimes there is something so satisfying about creating a photorealistic image. It's not something I often do, but it is good practice for my mind and hand-eye coordination.

In this case, I drew an Hoja Santa leaf on my iPad Pro in Procreate. People often see this image and are stunned that it's a drawing. But if you look closely, I remain expressive in my marks using a combination of shading techniques and some spattered stippling. 

The success of this image comes from the understanding of color and light. Studying how things look at different times of the day or night can open your eyes to working with color and light. A great exercise is photographing the same subject early in the morning, mid-morning, high noon, afternoon, golden light, evening blue light, and night. This exercise will give you a better understanding of how important color and light are in your artwork. 

You can also look at other people's art and photography to get another perspective on how others process these concepts. You can also find valuable books on the theme.

Color and Light - The Best Book

One book every artist needs on their bookshelf is "Color and Light, A Guide for the Realist Painter" by James Gurney. This book will help you better understand how light and color play off each other. The author covers temperatures, diffusions, hues, and many concepts with outstanding examples through art. You will see the world better and be able to interpret some of what you are observing in the atmosphere in your art and design work.

Get the book for your library!

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