See the light

Here is something that is often overlooked by artists and viewers alike. And it’s one of the most important elements in any picture. What and where is the light source or sources? In a daylight scene, is the sun behind you or straight overhead or in front of you and beyond the subject of the picture? Is there bright sunlight or is it cloudy? What color is the light, sunset or midday? This will determine where the shadows are and their color. In real life, shadows are always cooler in color. Since shadows are dark, they have a lot to do with the composition. Are there are multiple light sources, such as lights in a night scene, and the resulting shadows? If the lighting is not correctly figured out by the artist, the picture will most likely look unnatural.

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