Thursday, April 7, 2011


Painting is all about value...dark against light and light against dark. We study value to learn how to show the volume of an object, to show the space that is occupied by this object. We need to show where on a two dimensional plane a three dimensional object lies. I'm starting my studies again by studying the value scale. Like learning to play the piano, artists use a numerical value system to describe value. My first day I made a value strip of nine mixtures between black to white. What was most difficult was trying to match the greys. Mix black whic equals 9 and white which equals 1 together to get a value of 5. Mix the 5 with white to get a 3, mix the 5 with black to get a 7. Then take the 3 and mix with white to get a 2 and mix the 3 with 5 to get a 4. Then you mix the 7 with black to get an 8 and mix the 7 with the 5 to get a 6. Sound easy? Oh no, first you discover you did not mix enough 5 for all the mixes needed to get the other mixtures AND have enough for a decent size puddle to paint with. Then what you think looks right in your puddles don't really have enough contrast with their neighbors when painted side by side to make a strip of values from 1-9.

After that painful experience, paint three pictures using only 5 values of paint, the first study was very simple images. But you need to show differences in value to just make forms recognizable for what they are. Hard again to see differences in value. We have a trick, cut a hole In White paper and squint down and compare to your value strip. Assign values and paint.

I will have to send my image to email, save to computer and upload cause I did not try to see how to upload from phone!

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