Pool players become good at the game when they understand one thing- the “angle of incidence.”

What is the angle of incidence? Well, simply, it means what goes in is the same as what comes out. If a ball is hit into the side wall of the pool table at a certain angle, then it will bounce away at the exact same angle.  If it was a 30 degree angle going in, it will come out at 30 degrees as well.  



Yup! So the path of the ball becomes predictable.  It is a law of physics.  Can’t be changed.  The ball will always bounce back in a predictable way. You may suck at hitting the ball at a certain angle, but the physics of the bounce can not be changed.

What does this have to do with painting?

A lot actually. Because light acts the same way.  Believe it or not, Light will always bounce at the angle of incidence.  Its just physics.

How does that affect understanding how to paint a portrait?

Ah!  Here is the point of this blog- It affects everything when it comes to painting…. espectially a portrait.  Once I learned that, it changed everything.  The “yellow stage” I have been posting about the last few weeks and the demo with Eric Rhodes? It is all about light and how it acts. Everything else ( read color) becomes easier when understanding how light can be predictable.

If you have been in a past workshop you know I talk about “Larry the Light Beam” and his buddies. Why? Because if we don’t understand what the light is doing or how it acts we will have a tougher time painting realistically. And this is just one part of understanding light.  There is much, much more to chat about!!!!  Let me teach ya all about it.  

So join me! My next online workshop focusing on light, how it affects color and what that means for painting a portrait along with “Larry the Light Beam” is September 23 and 24th.  Save a spot by sending me an email at [email protected].

And if you want catch me in person so I can keep ya from “breaking” a law of physics, then I will be in Texas with the Southwestern Pastel Society on October 16-18th


…and then I’m back in Central Texas near Austin with the Pastel Society of Central Texas November 15-20th.


I will definitely be chatting about Larry and what he can teach us about light while working with live models. Trust me.  You will never paint the same way again.

And don’t forget! I am teaching next weekend at Patel LIVE! Be sure to sign up for this amazing weekend with 30 pastel masters creating amazing demonstrations. I will be there and I have a portrait demo to share!  Ask me any questions live as I paint along.

Sign up here.

Pastel Live – 2023

Hopefully I will see you soon!!!! 

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