Cast shadows too dark and opaque

 

When working from a photograph I often make poor choices when it comes to painting color value.  I fall back into bad habits of painting the values I see in the photograph instead of paying attention to the local value of the objects and determining the value range of the local color as it falls from light into shadow.  When I painted this old, vine-covered building with a strong shadow cast from an adjacent building, I painted the shadow too light. I should have left it alone instead of attempting to follow the photograph.  I knew better than to fuss with the shadow.

 

Washed out shadow and reworked with pastel

 

Instead of leaving it fresh and luminous, I began to add more layers on top f the cast shadow shape.  the color lost its freshness and the illusion of light vanished.  With nothing to lose, I washed out the overworked shadow shape and reworked it with a bit of fresh color and pastel to pull some lights back into the brambles.

The local color value of the building is light.  The cast shadow on the building will never be as dark as the darks on the metal roof or in the brambles.  A shadow should look cast, not painted onto a surface such as the side of the building.

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