Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Vermont Barn - Step 2

Vermont Barn - Step 2
Value Sketch
Oil 20" x 20"

Day 21 in the 30 in 30 Days Challenge

The steps in this weeks' barn painting are pretty similar to the steps in last weeks' farm painting.  Yesterday I posted sketches and ideas for a close-up view of a barn.  In Step 2 I drew in the painting with a brush, then roughed in the values in a thin coat of paint.  Again, my palette for the values was a mixture of my previous gray pile.  At the end of the day, if I have quite a big mixture of a color on my palette, which is glass, I'll scrape it into the corner.  Sometimes it gets used, and sometimes after a few days it's dry and it gets scraped off.  But, for this step it was great for my values.  Some artists might paint the whole canvas with values, but I just put in what I needed for my future reference.  The grass in the front isn't really quite as light a value as the roof top, but since I know that, it wasn't necessary for me to paint that in.  I just noted where some darker grasses and were.

As I said last week, if the values in a painting are correct, it doesn't really matter what colors you use.  At this point this could be a red barn, green barn, or old gray faded barn.  Actually, it's none of those!  If you paint the values fairly thin you often can just start painting right on top of them without the colors mixing too much.

I don't always do preliminary value sketches like these last two.  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.

I recently mentioned Kevin MacPherson's Fill Your Oil Paintings With Light & Color.  It is filled with so much great information and exercises.  He talks about doing many, many color studies.  I highly recommend it.


Anne Winthrop Cordin said...

Great start and thanks for letting us in on the process. I enjoy seeing how the different solutions are found, how we develop our own shorthand.

Pam Holnback said...

Thank you Ann. I, too, like seeing how other artists find their pieces.