Learning Track For Value
Value is arguably the most important characteristic of color for the artist to consider. Fundamentally, it is a measure of the relative lightness or darkness of a color or color shape. It is also sometimes referred to as tone. Learning to see the many hundreds or thousands of values as they exist in nature and to then transpose them a limited range of Value steps is fundamental to understanding and applying good value design in your paintings.
This learning track is meant to give you a good understanding of the basic concepts and an introduction to using value effectively in your work.
Part 2 – Light and Form
Light falling on a three-dimensional object creates distinct – and sometimes complex – patterns of light, shade and shadow. These patterns of value – light, mid-value, and dark – can be simplified and placed on two-dimensional paper. Done well, the painting will show light and, at the same time, reveal the form of the object as it appears in three-dimensions. This lesson uses a simple composition of simple objects to show the pattern of values that will show light and form in your paintings. You won’t believe how simple it is.
Follow this set to learn about how value can be used to depict light. Two lessons use value only. The last one uses a single color or mono-chrome.
You’ll want to have a way to check the values established in your composition as well as in your finished work. These lessons will help.
Part 3 – Value Thumbnail Sketches
You have a subject or scene you’re excited about, you’re all set up and ready, so you jump right in to your painting without any pre-palnning at all. Centuries-worth of working artists have proven over and over that taking the time to plan your painting with studies of composition and, especially, value composition is far more likely to produce a successful painting.
As an artist, you are enganged in creating a design on a two-dimensional surface NOT in re-creating real objects.
That statement is easy to understand, but very difficult to accept and act on. To do so means the artist has to let go of what they know, or think they know about the reality of their subject. Instead, they must consider how best to reveal the subject within the framework of a dynamic design. If you find this difficult, remember that every artist who has ever picked up a brush, faced the same challenge.
The simplest way to get started is by practicing the ‘art’ of thumbnail value composition sketching. This lesson introduces the basic concept with a simple example.
Do This First
Do This Next
it’s a bit more complex, but is a good introduction to practicle Value Compostion