Three quarter lighting is probably the most widely use in painting because of its dramatic impression. Many of the old master painters like Rembrandt, John Singer Sargent, Ander Zorn also prefer three quarter lighting when painting portraits. These portraits are painted with light coming from about forty-five degrees in front of the model. The light reaches most of the visible form, leaving only a fraction of the form in shadow. The light can be low enough to illuminate both eyes.
In the woman’s portrait below, the main light casts a shadow lightly side of the face from nose onto cheek and lower lip onto chin. This general pattern is basically sample of three quarter lighing. The light emphasizes the nearer or broader side of the face.
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