Painting Fundamentals

so apparently I haven't made a video in a while a few people have pointed that out so I'm back and I want to talk painting fundamentals for 10 minutes what I'm gonna paint here is a very simple scene and everything I talk about is going to deal with the essential fundamental thoughts that go through my head on any painting that I ever do it could be a portrait from life an illustration out of my head or anything in between the thoughts are identical and this simple little painting is going to approach every every major problem of the painting ok so right away the thing that that I am painting or that this when you're painting like this the thing that we're doing is we are painting light okay we're not drawing outlines we're not drawing 3d form we're painting light and if we paint light correctly it will look 3d it will look like it has form but really it's just two-dimensional shapes of color and value okay so so right away the thing that the first thing to think about when you're painting you are constantly dealing with understanding where the light is coming from and how that affects the shapes of light and shadow there are two families in your painting there's a light and a shadow family and these things are what helps us or what makes us understand what we see in real life and in the painting it's the same when when we see a light in shadow they are always separate okay as you can see in this painting right now you can clearly tell where the light is and where the shadow is that is one of the essential elements of having a readable painting is being able to understand having your brain understand where light is hitting and where shadow is now I've picked a very obvious light source for this I'm basically painting a sunlight effect I've got a single source that's a hard light coming from somewhere in the top right so it's basically like a Sun and that's a very convenient light source to paint because it creates very clear light and shadow shapes that's why you see some of the beginner life drawing sessions where they have like a single source on the model because it creates these shapes that are easy to draw so drawing in a painting is really place your shapes of value okay the drawing in this painting is very simple I've got those those spheres there are really not spheres to me they're shapes of light and shadow so the front one is a shape of light next to a shape of shadow and then to the left of that is a shape of shadow next to a shape of light and below that is the cast shadow shape they make okay I think in these terms it's always just shapes of light and shapes of shadow now when you have these clearly in your mind and clearly on the canvas then you can start worrying about things like color temperature okay is the light warm or is it cool and in this case I'm painting a warm light the Sun is a is always a warm light and that's what I'm imitating here and when you have a warm light something happens the the things that are lit the light shapes of value are going to be of a warmer color temperature than the things that are in shadow you might ask why this happens this is by the way this is the closest thing to a rule in painting is that is that warm light will produce cooler looking shadows and the opposite is true cool light will produce warmer looking shadows the reason this is true is because when you have like a warm light like I do here everything the warm light hits is going to look warm that makes sense right therefore everything the warm light doesn't hit is going to look cool it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out so you always keep your value separate light and shadow and you keep your temperature separate now it this doesn't mean that because this is a warm light that everything in the light is screaming warm and everything the shadow is is freezing cold okay you work these together if you notice in some of the light shape so that I've already got some cooler warms against some warmer warms that are creating a nice interplay of color and you look at any good painting and you'll see this this happens a lot and even in real life nothing is just one flat warm color or cool color it's and intermix but the thing that you have to keep in mind is that these temperatures belong to a family so the warm family should never go cool than the cooler family you can still have warms and cools in a warm light area but it can't ever be cooler than what's going on in the cool family does that make sense same with values when you have light and shadow like we do here very clearly nothing in the shadow can ever be as light as something in the light and nothing in the light can ever be as dark as something in the shadow again it's very simple the best part about painting the thing that I love is that it never gets more complicated than this everything I talk about here really is as complicated as it ever gets the only thing you that is challenging is combining all of these fundamentals like they compound on top of each other and when you're dealing with a more complex situation you have to really have your wits about you and be able to pull these fundamentals out effortlessly you know they just come out because you understand them so well that's the challenge of painting that's why the more you do it the more effortless well the more efforts that effortless it looks anyway but it's always the same thoughts going through your head and I I know this is true because some of the painters I really look up to say the exact same things and you know those are the kind of things I'm discovering along the way too okay so let's talk shadow for a second in the beginning of this painting I established very clear shadow shapes and I left them that way for a while this is like we're in for almost six minutes into the painting and up until this point they were pretty flat now I'm working into the shadows adding reflected light and I'm sure a lot of you heard this term reflected light reflected light really is is kind of the secret to making your painting look like it's real light at least from my experience and in my opinion reflected light is essential and it will make your painting glow or I will paint your make your light look convincing reflected light is tricky though because it only exists in shadow or at least it's only visible in shadow and reflected light will lighten your shadows but you have to keep in mind that reflected light will never make your shadow values lighter than anything that's actually in the light so you're gonna see where I'm painting right now at the left edge of that sphere I'm really just creeping right up to the edge of of that value being competitive with the light value but it still stays in shadow squint your eyes down and you can see a very clear separation still I'm just pushing those values just to the breaking point and it's giving that sphere a nice look like it the the light is bouncing off the ground or bouncing off the wall and hitting it and it really gives it a luminous look even look at this the front sphere receiving light although it's bouncing off the back sphere and hitting the front kind of see it's a little redder there because I in my in my thinking it's a it's a warmer bounce light hitting a cooler shadow so you're gonna get some warms influencing the cools you see this gets back to what I was saying before about how you can still have warm and cool play in a predominantly cool part of your painting but it can never get to the point where that reflected light is warmer than anything in the light okay I'm still keeping those families together just like the value families there's still clearly light and shadow there they don't compete at all and this is what you have to keep in mind for anything you paint even when the light source is diffused or not as obvious as this this principle still exists look at photographs but I prefer looking at real life squint your eyes down and just try and identify these areas and see if you can keep that in your mind edges also come into play and edges really are something that's kind of like the icing on the cake and I only started to understand edges after I started to understand value and drawing and color temperature but edges of edges exist everywhere there's an edge where the sphere meets the background there's an edge where the shadow and light meet there's an edge where the spotlight meets the wall edges there's an edge between every brush stroke in the painting okay edges are everywhere and you have to have interesting edges to help have an interesting painting you can see examples of a hard edge for example where the back sphere meets the shadow of the darks of the background there's a hard edge there another hard edge is where the Cache shadow line is those are always hard edges softer edges are where the form is turning on the front sphere you can see where the light turns into a soft edge and you can also find lost edges a lost edge is where you can't even tell where one thing ends and the other thing begins and you can see lost edges worthy the two spheres are meeting and hitting and intersecting the ground you I haven't even shown you where the sphere begins and ends into the ground yet your brain understands it those are lost edges what real life is full of lost edges and those really help when you're painting ok so I'm almost done here so basically I've talked drawing I've talked value I've talked color temperature and I've talked to edges if you keep these things in mind as you paint your paintings will improve and I recommend doing simple studies like this from life or from your imagination and try and just capture that realistic result that you see in real life ok thanks for watching guys see you next time

22 Replies to “Painting Fundamentals”

  1. Hey Marco, i love your paintings first of all things. And i would be really grateful if you tell me where or how i can get that brush you used in this video <3

  2. In my first life drawing class, we drew and rendered a venus statue, that got light from the side from below, and from up.

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