Saturday, February 13, 2010

Value Study

I don't know if this is worth sharing, but I found the exercise helpful. I think Kim English is a master of light... his paintings just glow and I've been trying to figure out how he does it. So I copied one of his painting images from a gallery website, and turned it to grayscale in Photoshop. I wanted to see how his values break down. He seems to have the full range of values from 10 - (black) to a 1 - pure white.



An important part of a successful painting is of course, having a one range dominate the scene with accents of the other. And I think that connecting those value ranges is important so that your eye doesn't jump around the painting too much.
My scene has a few less values. And midtones seem to dominate as usual.



Honestly, working from photos makes me worry that I would get too dark or too much a range of values. When I work en plein air, the values are closer generally. At least I always get them close. With so much light bouncing around you don't see very dark shadows. My trouble with painting on location (landscapes) is that I seem to end up with something looking like it was all painted with 5 values... midtones. I've always had to really push myself outdoors to get a range of values. Maybe I need to push more in the studio too!

9 comments:

Julie Hill said...

Robin, thanks for sharing. For me, I always use black and white photos...I find it instantly helps with the values...but then "frees" me up to color usage.Being a "color addict" this is helpful :)

Susan Carlin said...

Definitely worth sharing- I really appreciate seeing what you meant. I love Kim English's work, too, and it was good to see one of his paintings as a greyscale image. Thanks for putting this post together, Robin.

Karen Rike said...

Robin, thank you for that little exercise. I am going to do the same thing. I struggle SO with values.. maybe the exercise will help me.

Your paintings are fabulous!

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Robin, Excellent post, thank you.

Tammy Hext said...

Hi Robin, I have awarded you the Sunshine Blog Award. Drop by my blog to collect it. Happy painting.

Claire Kayser said...

Very nice work, Robin...

I've extended the sunshine blog award to you! Please come to my blog and receive!

Cheers,
Claire

Marian Fortunati said...

I just LOVE how you evaluate and think and review what you do and how you continually strive to get even better than you are.
As I've said before... you are my idol!!

Debra Russell said...

Thanks Robin. I struggle with the same thing when I paint plein air. This is a great idea. I usually take a photo so I can "tweak" the painting back in the studio. I think I'll start converting it to black and white and finishing it in the studio that way!

catharine said...

Interesting. Ansel Adam's Zone System applied to painting.

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