Just returned home from teaching a workshop in South Freeport, Maine. This demo was done to emphasize the value of values. :-)
Rule#1: Simplify, simplify, simplify. This is all about finding the large abstract shapes. If you take color out of the equation, it gets you looking at things in a whole new way.
When you're done your value study, stand back and ask yourself where you could link things together to strengthen your design. We need to remind ourselves again and again that we are not painting rocks, trees, water, sky. We are painting shape, value and color. And striving to employ a gorgeous variety of hard and soft edges to create depth, integration, texture and mystery.
Click for more tips on the whys of exploring your subject in this way.
One of my students said she had an 8 hour car trip ahead of her and was looking for a way to work on her art while on the road.
There are a couple of games I often play when on long road trips. One is to squint down as I watch the passing landscape and compare the relative value of things. Use the number scale of 1 to 10, and really work on your ability to determine exactly what # one value is relative to another:
- shadow on foreground bushes relative to shadow on background hills
- blue sky relative to clouds.
- what about the clouds? - sunny side to shadow side, verrrrrry subtle, half a value? Stormy? 3 values?
The other game is the "how would I mix that color?" game. As the landscape rolls by, ask yourself - what tubed colors would I use to mix the:
- late evening sunlit hills
- sunkissed mountains
- what about the shadow sides? how would you neutralize the color?
- morning sunrise filling the sky
- is it one color at the horizon and another higher up?
- what about the pavement? Exactly what would you use to nail that gray?
A huge thanks goes out to Bobbi Heath for inviting me out to Maine and organizing the workshop, including filling it with 12 AMAZING students! We had a fabulous 3 days together. You rock Bobbi!