WORKING WITH SHADOWS-1 – Reading Shadows – DVD


Using as her reference foliaged trees on either side of a graveled road, Dianne guides us through locating and interpreting the three degrees of shadow: deep, moderate and shallow. Moving through these one by one, she calls our attention to their change in color as well as value.

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Reading Shadows – S37L1 DVDReading shadows

 This lesson is S37L1, Reading Shadows of the WORKING WITH SHADOWS Series.  Using as her reference a large tree in front of a house, Dianne shows how we can avoid tangents in our compositions by finding ways to relocate shapes without changing the interpretation of the subject.

How we treat areas in shadow can make or break the life of our images, but also can be a determining factor in the strength of a painting’s composition.  In this series, we learn that interpreting shadows involves more than making them darker.  We can find within varying degrees of darkness color differences, texture variations and temperature changes.


 Rather than becoming refined paintings, all these lessons are studies, each showing a different approach for using a composing principle.  Dianne’s approach to teaching is to show you ways to think about making choices and decisions so that you can work these into your own unique approach to painting.


With every brushstroke we make, we are composing.  Just as with any creation, we begin with a structure, then as the art work begins we place shapes and colors according the concept with which we are working.  But the time comes when we move to a different level of thinking and decision-making–that moment when our intention becomes to bring clarity and resolution to the work.

Among Dianne’s passions about painting and teaching painting is how composing principles can expand creative freedom if the artist transcends the “rule” idea and instead, transforms the principle into a tool that opens creative doors.

Read Dianne’s Compose blog posts HERE.  Visit Dianne’s website and example her work HERE.  And visit her YouTube Channel with dozens of Quick Tips HERE.

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