Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Center Light

The center light is the main modeling factor out in the light. It takes the flatness out of the  planes in the light area. It makes form out in the light.

It is found only on round forms. 
It is a half value lighter than the average light value.
There are no hard edges on the center light. 
The center light is found and used most effectively on the upright plane. 
It widens and narrows with the form.
Create the center light on big forms first, then break in into smaller forms.

If the average in the light is 7th value, you can  lay in the center light a full value lighter and brush it down on all sides to soften and darken it to 7 1/2. Remember the highlight will be a full value lighter than the average, the center light has to be in between. There is no hue change, hold the local. There is no significant chroma change. It might be slightly weaker, but making it too neutral will weaken the edge plane (edge planes is a subject for an upcoming blog segment).

Once the curved form becomes a corner, the modeling factor
becomes a highlight, not a center light. 

Shape of the form dictates shape of the center light.

As the thumb turns towards body,
the forearm twists and the center light follows. 

In the illustration below, Reilly indicates a step-by-step procedure for painting the center light. After laying-in the light, shadow and halftone, add the center light, softening the edges as needed. Then add the cast shadow from the jaw. 

Try this exercise at home. 

© John Ennis 2011

Next Topic: Highlight


Mike Porter said...

I would love to have the complete collection of these Papers. They are excellent in visual clarity and with explanation. Is there anyway this is possible? Are they available as a collection?

John Ennis said...

Mike, that would be an enormous undertaking requiring a massive sum. And to be frank, one needs to be a Reilly Alum to even decipher their meaning, hence my added commentary. I only publish those pages that seem somewhat self explanatory.

kev ferrara said...

This is great information, John. I have hardly grasped until now just how much information Reilly had put together and made available to his students. The Apollo Dorian book only seems to cover a fraction of it, and without the great benefit of Reilly's clearly drawn diagrams in value.

Thanks for the great resource.


John Ennis said...

Thanks kev,
I am only partially through the figure painting part. There's tons more.

Natalie Italiano said...

Hi John,
I just discovered your blog! Wow! Thank you so much for making all of this Reilly information available. I look forward to your future posts and appreciate how much work it is to do this!