The biggest technical hurdle in my painting has been getting a firmer footing with shadows and darks for many months now. Shadows are not gray, and they aren't black. Surfaces reflect the colors around them to varying degrees, but some are hard edged, some are soft, some are fairly uniform in color, and some vary as they radiate from their source and interact with the colors around them. Then there is reflected light, that washes them out.
That all sounds good in theory. But there's that word again: theory. It's been the bane of my life with guitar, art, life. Any study of "theory" plunges you into a world of prevailing laws and rules that help us understand the illusion of art or music, help us hold to convention, help us all get along as members of a community. They guide our behavior and our perception - sure - but they also (or so I always imagine) hold us back. They're barriers to innovation some of the time.
But for me they're just fundamentally different and antithetical to the sorts of activities that draw (pun intended) me to creative endeavors. I don't think I'm some wild-eyed dreamer who wants to be "free". but I do think I have a problem with theory, with rules, with conventions.
Anyway, here are the results of today's struggle with those forces. Green and yellow shadows? They work, but I just need to find them myself!