Beginning Figure Drawing Part 3: Light & Shadow

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    New Masters AcademyNew Masters Academy
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    Beginning Figure Drawing represents the culmination of decades of instruction to studios and professionals around the world where Steve has honed his teaching philosophy down to a fun and efficient experience. This is Part 3 of the series, check out Part 2 here!

    Despite his impressive bona fides, Steve specializes in making complex information easy to understand for everybody. Having watched Parts 1 & 2, your understanding of gesture, structure, and the parts of the body provide you with a foundation upon which you’ll project light and shadow. In this third and final installment of the series, Steve will give you a thorough lesson on the Laws of Light and show you how to follow and manipulate them in order to create graphically pleasing shadow patterns on your figures. To master the laws of light you need to begin to think of the forms of the body in three dimensions, and make decisions about values based on a given form’s relation to the direction and location of the light source. Steve will reflect on the decision making of the Old Masters, do multiple demonstrations to drive the points home, and render completed drawings both on his drawing pad and the lecture board.


    • Sharpie Markers
    • Conté à Paris Pencil – White
    • Carbothello #645
    • Strathmore Bristol 500
    • Conté à Paris Chalk
    • Charcoal – Alphacolor – Char Kole
    • Conte a paris #1355
    • Paper Stump
    • Sculpy Kneaded Eraser
    • White plastic eraser
    • Sand Paper
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    Thank you so much for this amazing series. It is a great to be able to work through Steve’s book and listen to further explanations and demonstrations with these videos.

    Does anyone know how many parts will be in this series?

    Thank You!



    Matthew HaverlyMatthew Haverly
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    I just got Steve’s book right before starting this figure series also and I totally agree.   : )

    Matthew HaverlyMatthew Haverly
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    This is something I struggle to find good examples of in photos.

    The right leg (below):

    This discussion and photo from the course reference material really really amplifies well the transition from light, into “core” shadow, shows its darker value getting lighter again as it noticeably transitions into “ambient light” within the same overall shadow, and then gets darker once again at the edge as neither the direct nor ambient light is found within the “cast” shadow right along the left edge of right leg and in between the 2 legs.

    I’ve seen this in really good drawings but rarely seen it reinforced so well in photo as the one below.  It is easy to spot the “core” shadow and the “ambient light” within the shadow on right leg.

    Awesome stuff – learning so much.

    J.P. Hamilton
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    Just finished this course (and the beginner’s drawing course). I have to say this was amazing. Steve really has a gift for explaining things. I may not have the skills yet but this has really helped my thinking about how to approach drawing.

    I guess I just practice all of this and check back in about 5 years? 🙂 Not sure how to continue here to be honest. I am really only interested in drawing the figure and portraits.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by J.P. Hamilton.
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