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Watercolor Techniques Using Color & Light For Ultra-Dramatic Paintings

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Part Two, Step Two

Shape and Intensity of Shadows

The first key principle of shadows is their shape and intensity. Shadows are influenced by both the intensity of the light source and the distance from the subject that is casting the shadow.

  • Intense or hard shadows: Shadows closer to the light source and subject are more intense, warmer, and hard-edged.
  • Muted or soft shadows: Shadows that are more distant from the light source and subject are less intense, cooler, and soft-edged. 

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  • Little or no visible shadows: Depending on ambient lighting, shadows may be reduced or not appear to be present in weak light and atmospheric conditions.

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