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Perspective and Illusion

20 21 shaDows and the absence of light Accurate shadows are easy to draw in perspective and deepen the sense of realism in a drawing. Like stairways and other seemingly complex operations, if you have a go you will soon get the idea. One of the most common forms of shadowplotting is from orthographic projections see pages 45. Take, for instance, the front of a house, where sunlight may be assumed to be obliquely striking the facade, casting shadows in the recesses of pillars, windows and ledges. Shadow termination lines are struck at 45o off the plan and the side and brought down and across to the elevation, enabling the correct shadows to be drawn easier than it sounds. Working in scientific perspective it is important to establish whether the light source is near or far, and whether it is to the front, side, or rear of the viewer. The four basic types of situation are shown opposite, and mostly involve a small amount of study before they are clearly grasped. Multiple light sources will obviously throw multiple shadows based along the same lines. In a way, everything we ever see, or ever paint, or draw, is just some kind of shadow of that thing. It is never that thing itself. Above left A nearby pointsource of light casts shadows which recede along lines from the light itself and from the point on the floor directly beneath the light. Right Sun in front of viewer. The vanishing point for shadows is on the horizon directly beneath the sun. Use lines from the sun to corners of objects to determine where their shadows terminate. Above left Sun to the side. With light parallel to the picture plane, use horizontal and vertical extensions, along with parallel angled sloping rays, to complete the shadow. Right Sun behind the viewer. Determine a vanishing point for shadows on the horizon opposite to the sun, and a shadow termination point, directly below this.
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