Shading The Windows

Now that I had finished the stone walls and was happy with the way I had painted them, my next step was to add the shading detail to the window frames.  This really makes them stand out and look like they were actually chiseled from solid stone.

When ever you are painting anything, you need to remember one of the most important rules.

Where is the light coming from?

The answer to this will tell you where the shadows will fall and will help you bring your subject to life, regardless of wether its a round object or a window column that you’re painting.

I wanted the light to come from the left hand side, which meant that my shadows would fall to the right. Because of the way the stone windows frames would of been made centuries ago, they appeared have had a sharp line down the middle as if they had actually been chiseled by a master stonemason.

The first step was to draw a line in the middle of the arches and columns that frame the window so I had a reference point for where my shadows would fall. Then I applied a thin coat of watered down paint (the same color as the walls) this gave me my base color.

To make anything look real you need to be mindful of what materials would of been used centuries ago.The window frames and walls would have been made from the same type of stone and so they would have the same coloring and tones. I needed to keep the colors of the window frames the same as the walls, however I still needed to make them stand out from the walls so that they appear to be three dimensional.

I also wanted the windows to look ancient like they hadn’t been properly cleaned in years and dust and dirt had gathered over time. So I sprayed some watered down black paint in all the corners where you wouldn’t of been able to clean properly and where dust would naturally gather.

The more you can think of why the light falls in a certain way and why dirt and dust would gather in particular places, the more realistic your set will look. This process doesn’t take that long and can totally change the look of everything that you are doing. It will bring a set to life.

Tip. When people think of shadows they instantly think of black or a dark grey, but in most cases a shadow is the same color as the object only darker.

The next step was to paint my shadows, I used similar colors to the stone walls, remember not all shadows are black, usually they are a darker version of your base color. So I used some of the same watered down brown paint that I had used for the walls and added a little black to make it darker. I chose to use 1 inch brush so I could get the sharp lines that I wanted. Once that was dried I went over with a lighter pale sandstone color to create my highlights.

One  more thing to remember is that the highlights must to be painted last. Light will be falling on the high points and wrapping around the subject. Get this part right and your windows will come to life.

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