Who knew that hidden within each colour of paint there are either transparent, semi transparent or opaque properties. If you look deep within each paint label you will find its clarity properties. Some are easier to find than others. One of the reasons I like Graham paints so much, right there on the back of the tube, at the top it tells you what the colour is, transparent opaque or semi-transparent. Why, you ask, should I know this? Well, here is the scoop. Transparent colours recede and opaque colours come forward. If you want your shadows to sit down and behave, make sure you are using transparent colours. Here are a few other things you need to know about shadows.
Shadows contain colour, just not bright colour. Go ahead and put some juicy color in your shadows, just not ones that are too bright. Strong colour in shadows can exist but if you want colour in your shadows just make sure it is close to the same value as it’s core value.
There are no details in the shadows. This includes putting texture in your shadows. Remember the ‘k.i.s.s.’ principle…keep it simple stupid… The nice thing about transparent paints is they are a bit creamier than the opaques so they naturally don’t allow for texture. Most shadows do not exhibit a hard edge. Shadows are muted and soft with a blended edge between the object and it’s shadow.