Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lighting: Drawing The Eye

Happy Blogoversary to us... the blog is one year old.

Hannah here. No, this title doesn't refer to sketching an eye. This is about using lighting to attract someone's eye to a point on a picture.
 Likely every artist that has had an official teacher has been told about contrast: contrast between dark and light. My mama, who has actually had art lessons (as opposed to all us home-school kids), said that her art teacher told her to make the dark parts of a sketch black, and the light parts white. It makes for a more dramatic image.

Light draws the eye. If you are in a dark room, and the only source of light is a tiny strip under the door, odds are you'll look at the light instead of at the rest of the room. This power can be manipulated. Bwahaha.
I don't know how many people are familiar with this technique (the technique that may or may not have a name, I'm not sure), but it can be used to great effect.

One notable example, and the one I remember best, is Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper.

Who is the most important picture in this image? Jesus, of course. And you may notice that, contrasting with the dark walls that make the backdrop, there's a window right behind Jesus, framing his head, drawing the attention right-smack to his face. About as effective as a halo. Da Vinci's pretty cool.

Another artist I see that uses this technique is Gustave DorĂ©. He's got a fairly distinct hand. His illustrations of the Bible have shown up in both my CKJV bible and my study guide.

Nehemiah secretly viewing the ruins of the walls of Jerusalem.

The Ten Commandments


See how in each of these, the white wall, or bright lightning, or the lighter sky, draws the attention to the dark figure or object directly in front of it.

Of course, there are different ways to use this. You could, for instance, make the object of importance light-colored itself.

The famous judgement of Solomon.
John and the angel looking down at New Jerusalem.

Take a look at the New Jerusalem picture. What's the first thing you want to look at? Probably the glowy-white city down there. It's the idea of a spotlight, if you understand that.

I have to say that I don't often use this myself, but I'm going to start... thinking about it. If the pros do it, why not?

To God be the Glory,

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