Sunday, January 11, 2015

values, values, values.........and did i mention values

i think it always bears re-stating that values carry a painting. colors are nice......sort of like the sauce on a meal while the values are the "meat and potatoes." when a painting just isn't working for me, i almost always discover that there is a problem with interpreting and rendering the values. the problem sometimes comes in translating values to colors and vice versa. there are some gizmos that help in "seeing" values like a red lens or tinted viewer. one thing that i do to help in the interpretation is to work almost exclusively with black and white photo references when i am in the studio. this leaves only the reproduction of the desired values onto the painting. for this (and admittedly somewhat after the fact) i sometimes resort to taking a photo of a partially (or almost) finished piece, download it into i-photo, and change it to black and white.....voila a value study. this clearly shows me where the values are and whether i have rendered them the way that i intended.

in this cityscape the first time i thought that i had finished (or gotten pretty close to finishing) there was still something that bothered me about it. thinking it was the values i did take a photo and translated it to b+w. this showed me as the first pair of photos depicted below that the values in the mid-page were not strong enough (at least in my opinion).

so back to the easel and i added some darker glazes to the right mid-painting area. i also thought that the darks around the windows and doorways was too i lightened them. this resulted in the pair of photos depicted below.

i think it is better. what do you think? so, whenever you are in quandary about values this technique may help sort it out.

1 comment:

  1. I agree whole heartedly! Values are the "meat. And potatoes " of a painting. Using blk and wt references is very helpful as is checking it out on the computer Regularly during thE process. this painting looks like it's coming along great. And will be great. You' can't miss on the values with the process you recommend.