You know those things that you never really notice until someone points it out, but then you can never see it the other way again. You are forever reminded about this “new” way to look at the picture, or situation, or person or whatever. For example, look at the Mallard duck. He’s majestic. He also has a wolf head for a beak. The tip is his black nose, the nostril is the wolf’s eye and the bit that goes up is the ear. You will never look at a Mallard duck the same way again. Or take the KFC man, that may look like his bow tie but actually, it’s his teeny tiny body supporting his massive fat head.
Anyways… I’ve been learning about shadows in my classes recently. To be honest, I never really thought one could “study shadows” before. I mean, yeah, they’re there. Then they move and later the shadow will be gone. Big deal. Noooooope there is actually A LOT to learn about shadows – which totally blew my mind! “Shadows add depth to everything whether you realize it or not,” my instructor told us, “shadows are not always black or grey – they are always a shade darker than the colour of the object depending how much light is being shed at the time. Shadows can still have colour.” As she showed us and taught us more on shadows, my eyes were opened to how difficult that cheesy, classic painting of the “Bowl of Fruit” actually is. No really, take a look at how many individual colours there are in one of those pears… In order for us to actually grasp the depth of shadows my teacher took an image, photocopied it in high contrast and had us lay a piece of trace paper over top. We then had to draw out all of the different shapes based on the different shades. Our finished projects resembled some what of a paint by number. As easy as that sounds, it got a little more difficult. “I want you guys to go around town on a sunny day taking pictures of what you see. In the pictures I want a good variation of highlight and shade. I also want you to do a quick sketch of the scene to show depth, texture and shadow.” Pffffft I could do that – I’ve always loved photography. So while driving around the town I came across probably the cutest little house I’ve ever seen. I immediately pulled over and took pictures. I had to stand in the middle of the intersection to get this shot. I was holding up traffic and not even feeling guilty cause it was completely worth it!
The next day we all brought our images in and she looked over them. “Now I want you to photocopy your image in high contrast so you can see the strong shade differences in the photo. This will help you when you draw the photo you have shown me.” Drat…. suddenly I was wishing I had snagged an easier image. Looking at the roof of that cute house on the corner made me want to crawl in a hole. The shadows from the trees intimidated me so much that I didn’t even want to try. I can’t draw like that! There is no way I can do this! As I was giving myself a “No You Can’t” speech God calmly spoke to me, “Payton, I helped you get the shot, do you not think that I will help you draw this? Have a little faith in what I am capable of through you…” *Long sigh* “Ok, but can we, just not attempt the roof and simply grey it over?” I asked Him. “Girl, the photo turned out beautiful because of the variation in shadows – imagine what that house would’ve looked like if it were easy to draw? It would have been easy to walk past and you most likely wouldn’t have stopped to that the picture.” I never thought of it that way… “It’s the same way in your life – you need shade to see the high lights, you need texture to notice the smooth and you need variation to make something interesting. Why do you think I allow good things to happen and bad things to happen? Why do you think there are easy parts in life and there are difficult? Because I am creating a stunning picture and you need all colours to see the beauty and uniqueness.” I sat back, “Alright, I get that, and it makes total sense…. but I still don’t wanna draw this….” “All I’m asking is that you try and put your best effort into it.”
I took the colour photo, my sketch, the black and white and a lot of God’s helped and tried. Using only ink and markers He allowed me to do this.
Guys, I’m not gunna lie, I was shocked with how my project turned out. I put the mother load of hours into but it made me so happy to see how God’s help and motivation allowed me to do something I never thought I as able to do.
I don’t know what’s going on in your life, but all God is asking is that you try and put your best foot forward in each and every situation and to have faith in what He will do. I’m enjoying this shadow study much more than I originally was.
“And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” – Mark 9:23
– Stay Satisfied