Monday, August 29, 2011

the value of value

value study pastel on somerset 5x11
value study pastel on somerset, 6x9

Color is the absolutely delicious part of any painting. We all love it don't we? Slightly addictive, eh ? It is my drug of choice and I always have to remember to stick to my reading of value and not just relying  on  scrumptious color.
The classical masters made a full grisaille (value painting, in essence) and all the value decisions were made on it. Later, layers of thin glazes where laid on top of the grisaille and the value structure stayed solid.
So if you want to make stronger paintings try focusing just on value. I constantly need to remind myself of this. When teaching this summer I had my students complete 3 days of just value work and on site note taking. On the fourth day, when color was finally allowed (after a value study) the results were stunning.
Taking time to make just full value drawings, not a five minute study, but a full blown sketch (let's say two hours of work) is incredibly valuable.  When you  do this you will see how easily the value study can be a great support in the field, and later in the studio. Try it and let me know.

PS The hurricane is gone and all is well.


Casey Klahn said...

Glad all is well. I notice you got your sky lighter by just a half an iota - very skillful. Good lesson.

Caroline said...

Hi Loriann, I agree with Casey that light sky just sets the painting off beautifully. The value studies are really lovely works of art in their own right. A very interesting post thank you.

Felicity said...

That's something I need to do, and also making colour value work for me.

Glad to hear you're not damaged by that big storm over there!

Take care,

Deborah Elmquist said...

Here, Here! It is all about value not color. Keep sending out this message and the beautiful value examples. DEB

loriann signori said...

Hi Casey! Half an iota...a very precise measurement indeed! Hopefully it did it! Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Hi Caroline,
Thank you about the value studies. They help me alot.

Hi Felicity,
Welcome to my site. I think we all are attracted most to color. Sometimes it's hard to keep a pulse on the value... paint on!

Hi Deborah,
Sounds like I am speaking to the choir. You know your value! Thanks about the examples.

Cindy Michaud said...

it's not just a study, it is a very accurate and soothing painting on its own...why do we answer the color-siren's call of temptation??