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Exercise 51. Light and Shade

The use of light and shade can have a very dramatic effect on the way drawings-or animated sequences-are presented. The ageold saying that comes to mind here is “Light over dark, or dark over light.” This means that when shading or coloring an image, make any foreground character you have appear light against a dark background, or dark against a light background. That will ensure it will appear stronger. This of course only maximizes the silhouette effect we worked with earlier. Another thing that is also good to remember here is that the eye is always drawn to the part of an image that has the strongest light and shade contrast. So, always remember to exploit this fact when you’re featuring an important piece of animated action within a scene. Practically, to reinforce all this, research paintings, illustrations, and film clips and draw quick thumbnail sketches of the most effective images you find. Work fast, but do add both light and shading-and observational notes-to your work. This will prove an invaluable archive of ideas and information for future use. (Take no more than 2 minutes per thumbnail drawing.)