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ONLINE CLASS - How to Paint Simple Cast Shadows in Still Life Paintings - Acrylic with Susan Abdella, MDA

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ONLINE CLASS - How to Paint Simple Cast Shadows in Still Life Paintings - Acrylic with Susan Abdella, MDA

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Online Painting Class

Media: Acrylic

How to Paint Simple Cast Shadows found in Still Life Paintings

with Susan Abdella, MDA

  • This introductory shadow class gives an ‘overview’ into the different types of shadows and opens the door for new still-life painters.
  • Build your skill bank: It is a fundamental skill to earn and understand the nature of shadows in painting.
  • Learn about the character of cast, resting and body shadows.
  • Learn about their color, transparency, and form.
  • This is a short class where the instructor gives a light overview of what to look for when it comes to painting shadows, relative to still-life compositions.
  • Susan paints through a few shadows so the student comes away with a better understanding of how transparency and value placement is applied.
  • Susan demonstrates how to paint a transparent shadow in the class videos. The example shown below is a slide from the class painting video.


  • Shadows add dimension and help the still-life painter create a sense of spatial depth within the composition.
  • Since light travels in a straight path, all objects that sit in the path of light will block it and by default create a cast shadow.

Sit Down or Anchor Shadows

- When the object sits on a surface it will create sit down or anchor shadow.

- In this class the artist will understand how to paint these shadows into a painting to prevent objects from floating above the surface.

- Light and shadow can be a complex subject to learn, Susan explains and shows a few of the most important aspects of this subject.


The Class Presentation:

This short class is taught using Acrylic Media, painting videos demonstrate how to paint a simple shadow and written lessons explain the many kinds of shadows to look for.

Students can paint along with the videos and follow up with instructor feedback via the classroom forum.

NOTE: the class goal is learning about the different types of shadows. Not about painting an actual still life painting.


3 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 4
    I LOVED this course...only problem..not enough of it! so excellent.

    Posted by doris woodruff on 8th Dec 2010

    I never understood the why and how shadows happen in art and I know that is a big part of still life that I love. The only thing I would LOVE to see is more demonstrations videos of lighting and shadows...maybe that would come with a course on Setting up Still Life?

  • 5
    This class is a MUST

    Posted by Unknown on 7th Dec 2010

    No matter what you paint - landscapes, portraits, still life, etc....there are shadows. I now know why some shadows are crisp and sharp and others have soft edges and so much more. Great class and not one to be missed.

  • 5
    Lots of great info

    Posted by Lynnette Horn on 7th Dec 2010

    This is an indepth look at shadows under all conditions. Lots of good information and exercises. A must for any realistic painter.

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