Portrait Pro Lights the Way


Lighting establishes the drama and mood of subject matter in sketching and painting, especially in portrait studies. Periodically The Studio in Qualicum Bay hosted by artist and designer Sheena McCorquodale opens its doors to artists and holds wonderful drawing session opportunities. These current costumed sessions offered the theme of the 1920s fashionable Flapper, expertly modeled by Lexia Susann.
Lighting comes by way of natural or artificial sources and an be altered through reflected, direct and indirect means. Seen here, local professional photographer Gordon Lafleur dropped in to hone up his drawing skills, and generously taught us a wonderful lesson on classic lighting for the portrait. Gordon helped expand our understanding of lighting, taking us beyond the standard top, bottom, front, side and backlighting that can typically be manipulated on the model’s form. He shared with us the four common portrait lighting patterns:
Split Lighting – A dramatic effect whereby the light source is applied 90 degrees to the left or right of the subject
Rembrandt Lighting – Rembrandt’s classic lighting effect. With the subject turned slightly away from the light, it must come from above the head in order to produce a shadow that falls from the nose and down across the cheek. This shadow joins together leaving a small triangular highlight on the cheek. Seen above is Sheena McCorquodale’s fine sketch of this classic lighting pattern.
Loop Lighting – With the light source slightly higher than the models’ eye level, the shadows cast from the nose and that of the cheek do not join together.
Butterfly Lighting – Named for the shape that is created under the nose, it is produced by placing the main light source above and behind the camera.

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