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Drawing with Color and Light in Mind

Color and light always play a vital role in my artwork. Though, I am mostly known for creating abstract and expressive artwork, sometimes I like to get back to my roots. Sometimes there is something so satisfying about creating a photorealistic image. It’s not something I do often, but it is good practice for my mind and hand-eye coordination.

In this case, I drew a Hoja Santa leaf on my iPad Pro in Procreate. People often see this image and are stunned that it’s a drawing. But if you look closely, I remain expressive in my marks using a combination of shading techniques and some spattered stippling. 

The success of this image really comes from the understanding of color and light. Studying the way things look at different times of the day or night can really open your eyes up to working with color and light. A great exercise is to photograph the same subject early in the morning, mid morning, high noon, afternoon, golden light, evening blue light and night. This will start to give you a better understanding of how important color and light are in your artwork. 

You can also look at other people’s art and photography to get another perspective on how other people process these concepts. You can also find very helpful books on the the theme.

color and light by james gurney

Color and Light – The Best Book

One book every artist needs on their bookshelf is “Color and Light, A Guide for the Realist Painter” by James Gurney. This book will help you better understand how light and color play off of each other. The author covers temperatures, diffusions, hues and many concepts with wonderful examples through art. You will see the world better and be able to interpret some of what you are observing in the atmosphere into your art and design work.

Get the book for your library!

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