How to build light and shadow in charcoal

Light and shadow can bring a new level of artistry and storytelling to our charcoal drawings. My professional work as an animation artist calls for a strong understanding of light and shadow. Indeed, it’s one of the most important art techniques in my toolbox. I need to have a technical understanding of how light works so that I can give a believability to the scenes that I create. 

Passages of light and shadow can be designed to give special emphasis to each moment of a film. Vibrant contrasts of light can convey an exciting energy, while nuances of light can create subtle mood changes. 

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Nathan Fowkes is an artist working in the animation industry. He's also the author of How to Draw Portraits in Charcoal.