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Draw cast shadows : Everything you need to know 100% free

In this article you'll see

How to draw cast shadows : definition of cast shadow

 Whether you draw in a realistic style or in a cartoon style, Whether it is semi realistic or fantasy style with some light touch. Cast shadows are a part of every drawing no matter what is the artstyle, unless it is abstract painting. In this article, i'll teach you How to draw cast shadows in some basic situations : 

What is cast shadow ?

Cast shadows are formed when one surface occludes another surface from the light source. In this case, an image of the casting surface is formed on the occluded surface, and the cast shadow is `surrounded by light.

What is the difference beetween Core shadows and cast shadows ? 

Core shadows are shadows on the object itself, while cast shadows are the result of the light being blocked by the object. The shadow is then “cast” onto surrounding objects or surfaces.A cast shadow can be disconnected from the object it is refering to ... in this case it mean that the object is up in the air. Whether floating or just up in the air. A cast shadow can be recognized by these characteristics : 
  • it is darkest near the object that casts it and lightest at the point farthest from that object.
  • A cast shadow's edge is in sharpest focus near the object casting the shadow and becomes softer farther away from that object.

How to draw cast shadows in 2D illustration ?

Draw cast shadows in multiple way so that you'll be forced to take a look at angles and math. We will not teach you this here. We will see it simply :First draw the horizon line. If you don't know how to do it, read the perspective section, it is described in the basics.  How to draw cast shadows    Imagine a focal point that is the light. Draw a straigh line from the sun to the horizon line.2. From this mark, draw lines through the outer edges of the part of the object touching the ground. This will give us the direction and width of the cast shadow. (Treat the object as though it were transparent to locate the edges on the back side.) 3. Draw lines that start from the light source, touch the top of the object, and continue until they intersect with the lines thar define the edges of the cast shadow. Where these lines meet marks the length of the cast shadow.Another example of cast shadows in nature according to distance : Another example of cast shadows in nature. according to distance : Your horizon line is often your plane and where the ground is. In fact, the definition of an horizon line is mainly the farest point you can observe with your eyes. That's what we call horizon line. Note that horizon line can't be really applied when you are inside an interior. For this, we use another term. Cast shadows will definitly change your drawings and should be included in all type of drawing. Regardless of your style. That said, the way you include it should vary in term of colors. If you go for realistic rendering for example, it's good to represent cast shadow as it is in nature and in order to do that, you'll study how cast shadows appear in nature. Nonetheless, if you represent cartoon, you're not obliged to apply the strict laws of color and light. You can go for black cast shadow for example. It really depend on the type of rendering you target. The more it's simple, the least you do. I hope you liked this article. You may also like these articles : Digital painting : 4 tips to speed up your workflow Other ressources Drawabox : Draw cast shadowsDrawabox website for more ressource

In this article you’ll see

How to draw cast shadows : definition of cast shadow

 Whether you draw in a realistic style or in a cartoon style, Whether it is semi realistic or fantasy style with some light touch. Cast shadows are a part of every drawing no matter what is the artstyle, unless it is abstract painting. In this article, i’ll teach you How to draw cast shadows in some basic situations : 

What is cast shadow ?

Cast shadows are formed when one surface occludes another surface from the light source. In this case, an image of the casting surface is formed on the occluded surface, and the cast shadow is `surrounded by light.image 2022 01 06 235009 Draw cast shadows

What is the difference beetween Core shadows and cast shadows ? 

Core shadows are shadows on the object itself, while cast shadows are the result of the light being blocked by the object. The shadow is then “cast” onto surrounding objects or surfaces.

A cast shadow can be disconnected from the object it is refering to … in this case it mean that the object is up in the air. Whether floating or just up in the air. 

A cast shadow can be recognized by these characteristics : 

  • it is darkest near the object that casts it and lightest at the point farthest from that object.
  • A cast shadow’s edge is in sharpest focus near the object casting the shadow and becomes softer farther away from that object.

How to draw cast shadows in 2D illustration ?

Draw cast shadows in multiple way so that you’ll be forced to take a look at angles and math. We will not teach you this here. We will see it simply :First draw the horizon line. If you don’t know how to do it, read the perspective section, it is described in the basics.  How to draw cast shadows    

Imagine a focal point that is the light. Draw a straigh line from the sun to the horizon line.

2. From this mark, draw lines through the outer edges of the part of the object touching the ground. This will give us the direction and width of the cast shadow. (Treat the object as though it were transparent to locate the edges on the back side.) 3. Draw lines that start from the light source, touch the top of the object, and continue until they intersect with the lines thar define the edges of the cast shadow. Where these lines meet marks the length of the cast shadow.

picture 3 Draw cast shadows

Another example of cast shadows in nature according to distance : Another example of cast shadows in nature. according to distance : 

zaert Draw cast shadows

Your horizon line is often your plane and where the ground is. In fact, the definition of an horizon line is mainly the farest point you can observe with your eyes. That’s what we call horizon line. Note that horizon line can’t be really applied when you are inside an interior. For this, we use another term. 

Cast shadows will definitly change your drawings and should be included in all type of drawing. Regardless of your style. That said, the way you include it should vary in term of colors. 

If you go for realistic rendering for example, it’s good to represent cast shadow as it is in nature and in order to do that, you’ll study how cast shadows appear in nature. 

Nonetheless, if you represent cartoon, you’re not obliged to apply the strict laws of color and light. You can go for black cast shadow for example. It really depend on the type of rendering you target. The more it’s simple, the least you do. I hope you liked this article. 

You may also like these articles : 

Digital painting : 4 tips to speed up your workflow 

Other ressources 

Drawabox : Draw cast shadows

Drawabox website for more ressource

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