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Watercolor Techniques Using Color & Light For Ultra-Dramatic Paintings

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Part Two, Step Three

The Color and Temperature of Shade and Shadows

The second key principle of shadows is their color and temperature:

  • Strong light: In bright full light, shadows pick up the colors around them and from the surfaces upon which they fall. Try to keep shade and shadows as luminous as possible. Do not “scrub” them into the paper! Remember the principles above and vary your shadows as they become more distant from the light source and the subject casting the shadows.

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  • Weak light: Weak light means there is less warm light present, i.e., the lighting temperature is cooler and the intensity of lighting is less. Thus, shadows, if present, will be substantially muted, much cooler, and greatly softened.

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