Three Things I learned from: Volume 26 Learning to Paint Values

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    One concept I learned from this video is the importance of different values of color created within a painting. Hall Groat presents this concept by instructing how to paint different values of light cast on simple geometric shapes: a cube, cylinder, and sphere. A range of values creates a relationship between light and shadow, and therefore helps to create visual points of interest as well as an aesthetically pleasing composition. By presenting the traditional grey scale, Groat shows 11 values. The darkest value is black (0) and the lightest is white (10). A color can be made lighter by adding white and darker by adding black. Groat also points out that all colors have an inherent value: yellow is considered light, and red is considered dark. All these different values aim to create harmony within a painting, while also allowing a context to exist for these values.

    Another concept I learned from this video is using a value scale to correspond to values on the real still life. Comparing the values on the scale to the actual objects will help you understand the relationship between light and shadows. You can also squint your eyes at a spot on your subject to be able to better distinguish different tones from one another. This will help eliminate the detail around the spot on the subject and bring out the light and dark areas. By identifying areas of high and low key values, the middle values will naturally create themselves.

    The third concept in this video is how to create different planes within a painting by creating a relationship between your subject and negative space. Groat explains how to paint negative space first before painting an object. You can achieve this by painting extreme values first. When your painting is finished, you should be sure that you have maintained your “darkest darks” and “lightest lights.” When using color, you can show a change in plane by presenting warm against cool temperatures. This contrast in value draws a viewer to notice a change in plane. Another tip Groat gives is having neighboring values overlap eachother to get an average of both.

    For my first still life painting in class, it was difficult for me to get started. We were instructed to paint a pitcher, a foam sphere, and a vase. All these objects were familiar to me, but creating a realistic portrayal of them proved to be very challenging. I paid attention to each tone individually, instead of realizing the relationship between the high, middle, and low values. I also believe if I started with painting the extreme values first, I would’ve been able to identify this relationship easier. Also, comparing my value scale to the actual still life would help me achieve the appropriate color values.

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