Friday, January 10, 2014

Composition and Value Step 2

Composition and Value Step 2
Oil 20" x 20"

Day 10 in the 30 in 30 Days Challenge

Yesterday I posted my preliminary sketches for this Vermont farm scene.  This is step 2 where I painted in the buildings and values.  The palette I chose for the values was the leftover gray pile from a previous painting.  Almost any palette will work for the values.  Some people have strict value palettes that they always use.  Many people use a warmish value palette.  I just grabbed what was there.  I like toning my canvas with warm colors.  Other artists use a neutral gray as a tone, but I love bits of warmth peeking through.

If the values in a painting are correct, it doesn't really matter what colors you use.  At this point this could be a farm with red barns, green barns, old gray faded barns.  If you paint the values fairly thin you often can just start painting right on top of them without the colors mixing too much.

As I said yesterday about not always doing a preliminary sketch, I don't always do a preliminary value study.  Value is the relative degree of light and dark, or grayness from black to white.  Sometimes that can be confusing because we don't see things in shades of gray, but in light and dark colors.  So sometimes it's just as easy to block shapes in as colors.  Both of these are great learning steps and something all artists do at different points.

Another book that I love is Kevin MacPherson's Fill Your Oil Paintings With Light & Color.  It is much easier to read and understand than the two I mentioned yesterday.  And is filled with so much great information and exercises.  I highly recommend it.

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