Value Composition To Color Painting

Maintaining Value While Working With Color

Our task as artists is to create a dynamic design in our picture space – regardless of subject matter.  

This is no small task because it requires us to abandon our impulses toward literalism and the notion that our painting consists of real objects.

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Converting Simple Value Sketch To Full Color Painting

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The Value Sketch Is Step One

The first step in this process requires composing our picture plane into a visually pleasing design.  Often, this is accomplished by creating small studies. These studies consist of no more than a handful of abstract shapes that have been created by combining  objective elements together and adding a simplified value pattern to the shapes.


What You’ll Need:

  • Value Sketch -use the one from the earlier video
  • Value Scale – any that you have will do or make one with this lesson – Five Step Value Scale
  • a small sheet of watercolor paper, approx. 5″ x 7″ – as always, Arches 140lb Cold Press is recommended   (Links to Amazon, where you can purchase Arches paper.  and, yes, I get a small portion if you order.  Thank you.)
  • Paint –  Cadmium Red Light, Cerulean Blue, Quinacridone Deep Gold, Raw Sienna
  • Brushes – Medium and Small Round, and Rigger


Related Lessons

Basic Lessons on Value, Value Sketching, and Converting Value to Color