Original Post: 2/21/2010
In part one, we discussed the sub-structure, planes and general form of the nose. In this section we will explore the most important tool that will assist us in creating realism – depicting light and shadow.
There are 5 key components of light and shadow. By translating these components into tonal values of shading and highlights it will create realistic depth to the nose.
The light source has the strongest impact on the nose than on any other facial feature. If the light is too strong or harsh, it will create strong cast shadows and unusual shapes. If the light is flooded (using a flash in front of the person), the light diffuses shadows and the nose has no form. A natural (northern light) from above at a 45 degree angle creates soft subtle shadows and emphasizes the best features for portraits.
For more examples of portrait lighting and choosing a good photo reference:
Giovanni Civardi’s “The Art of Drawing Portraits” page 30
Stan Prokopenko’s Blog Tutorial