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Makeup: Value,Shadow and Light

Techniques for Film,Television, Photography and Theatre

Makeup: Value,Shadow and Light

An important lesson for Makeup Artists in all areas of makeup is how to correctly determine proportions, shapes, and anatomical structure of the face and body. Makeup Artists are masters at the illusion and manipulation of different shapes and features of the face and the body for makeup designs. Painting and drawing skills will give you the ability to understand and use makeup as an art form. The study of anatomy drawing will teach you, for example, individual skeletal or muscular size, shapes, and functions. “Anatomy is an applied science which underpins fine art, the study of structure is essential for artistic representation.

There are certain fundamental drawing skills that teach you value, form, light, and shadows, as well as how these elements fall onto the surface of the face and body. Proportions play an important role for realism and how a body is drawn so as to appear in motion.

VALUE, SHADOW, AND LIGHT

The study of values is a complicated subject. When trying to draw in a tonal manner, it helps your ability to see value changes on the model if you learn the terminology of the subject.
Values: Each object, whether simple like a sphere or complex like the human figure, is composed of millions of tonal “value” changes. These range from the brightest bright (where the object most directly faces the light) to the darkest dark (where the object is turned away from the light source).

Halftones: A generic term that refers to all of the value variations within the light side of the model. The halftones are brightest where the form turns most directly toward the light source, and are darkest just before the form falls into complete shadow.

Dark and Light Halftones: To keep things simple, artists should class their halftones into two different categories: “light halftones” and “dark halftones.” Things can go wrong if these two types aren’t kept separate. Some artists make all of their halftones equally dark, creating muddylooking drawings, while others insist on making their halftones equally bright, creating washed-out drawings.

Shadow: As the form of the model turns completely away from the light source, the dark halftone shapes get darker and darker, until the light completely terminates and the big shadow shape begins. Literally called the “terminator” by those who deal with light as a science, this shadow edge can look abrupt and contrasty at times, or soft and fused at other times. It all depends upon the amount of reflected light bouncing into the shadow side of the model.

Reflected Light: Shadows are simply the absence of light. The only reason anything can be seen within the shadow shape is because of reflected light. The light source illuminates not just the model, but also the surrounding environment. The light bounces off the walls, floor, and ceiling, ricocheting into the shadows, and lighting (or filling) the dark side of the model. Indeed, even various body parts reflect light onto the other shadowed parts of the model. One very important rule to know: no reflected light in the shadow shape can be as bright as the direct light hitting the model.

Core Shadow: When the dark side of the face turns away from any source of reflected light, the shadow gradually darkens until the darkest part of the shadow, called the “core shadow,” is reached. This term refers to an area of the form that gets no direct light and very little reflected light. Even when drawn subtly or in a barely visible manner, the core shadow creates a cornering effect that helps to magnify the plane changes of the model.

Source: Excerpt from The Makeup Handbook

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