Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Colour Basics and other Folk Art topics.
One way to learn to 'see' light source and how it is applied in a painting is to open your eyes and start looking for it. Take a visit to an art gallery and look at the works of old masters. This is a good place to start. Ask yourself where is the sunshine or light here? It is not likely to be in the painting but outside of it. Upper left? Upper right? Lower left or right? OK...now stand back. Imagine the wall around the painting is not two dimensional, but three. The painting is in the middle of a cube. Now where is the light? The corners nearest you? The middle nearest the painting? The corners behind the painting as you are looking at it? OK...you might not be able to visualize this straight away so practice it a few times. In the mean time, folk artists keep it simple. It is often left or right top corner. Or we break all the rules and make the centre of the design itself the light source! Take a look at some of the really traditional paintings.