The Importance of Halftone Texture

This lesson will demonstrate the importance of paying attention to the texture found at the shadow / halftone edge on a form.

  • I begin with a basic sphere form; with the light and shadow separated.
  • It’s best to conceptualise this as the surface of the moon.
  • I then draw a series of crater all over the surface to explore the effect of the direction of light on the prominence / contrast found in each crater.
  • The craters that sit within the lightest part of the illuminated section will be mostly lit – they won’t cast a shadow in any particular direction.
  • Whereas those craters that sit at the edge of the light and dark will be ‘raked’ by the light, casting longer shadows as a consequence. This means that they appear a lot more contrasty (and prominent) than the lighter craters.
  • You can see evidence of this phenomenon in this starkly lit deer skull.
  • The bone that is most brightly illuminated shows little texture – whereas the parts of the bone right next to the shadow edge exhibit a lot more texture.
  • You can apply this principle to any textured surface that you draw or paint.
  • The more textured it is – the more the effect will stand out.