Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A matter of values

Today was my last session teaching at the Port Colborne Art Club. We did value study paintings. I find it such an excellent exercise to really study the values of what's in front of you. We can fall into the trap of thinking shadows: really dark, mid-tones: half-way on the scale etc... and paint by what we think we know, instead of painting what we're actually seeing. But it's all relative. And if we're not paying attention, colour can lead us astray. Because sometimes we are just looking at colour and not being thoughful of the value of that colour. This can lead to less than dynamic paintings. It's tough though! It requires concentration, thoughtful painting and a LOT of squinting to see the big value shapes. And then to top it off, you have to remember to keep the values correct in relation to each other. Phew. I'm tired all over again ; )
This is acrylic on 6"x6" canvas panel. It was painted with carbon black and titanium white.

4 comments:

martinealison said...

Une belle touche et une bonne ├ętude... Bisous

Kathy Cousart said...

Wonderful post- always enjoy learning and working in values is a great way to master what you are seeing. Agree:):) And, You did a great job explaining this:)

Barbara M. said...

A great value painting Kim. I know colour seduces me. Thinking about values is a help. I can't remember who said that if there's something not working in a painting, it's probably a problem with values, but that pops into my head from time to time.

XO Barbara

William Ternay said...

Kim; are you sure we weren't brother and sister in another life as artists?
Actually, more like grandfather and granddaughter. The paragraph you wrote about "Values" is exactly what I keep emphasizing to my students (adults) because one of the hardest things for not just novice painters, is to TURN OFF seeing the colors, and interpret them, via squinting, into local values. You said it perfectly. A mentor of mine long ago said "If you get the VALUES right, then you can use almost any colors."
Just look at most Impressionist paintings.
Great post.