Shadows - heuristics and truths

After reading this post about warm and cool shadows I started thinking about other rules of thumb about shadows (regarding both core shadows and cast shadows).

Let’s open these up for discussion:

  1. The cast shadow is always darker then the core shadow.
  2. The shadows are better kept simple to create more interest in the lighter areas (even though sometimes we might observe a very strong reflected light).
  3. In painting, never ever use white in the shadows, it makes the shadows less transparent.

The first 2 rules I always embraced as gospel.
The third I follow as that was what I was told. It proves useful when painting objects in a black shadow box, but when painting a white object on a white background it creates a very dramatic lighting effect and takes away from the “milky” surface, which is not always desirable.

Some examples of mister Bouguereau:


Yes!!! This is great Stella. Let me get back to this later today with my thoughts on all three. :slight_smile: