Monday's lime, oil on canvas, 6"x6". (As you can see the value study below was done from a different point of view than the painting in color.)
On Value Studies
A student asked the following question about the value studies:
“I think I understand why you want us to do a value study first, but I’m still not sure how to translate black/white to color. Therefore, I’m not sure I’m benefitting as much as I could from the value study. Any thoughts you have would be much appreciated.”
This may not be a satisfying answer but I think that simply grappling with it over time will help.
-Working with black and white frees us up to focus on what is light or dark without being distracted by color. This understanding of the light/dark pattern of the composition will then inform your painting.
-Sometimes when working with color it is hard to tell if one color is a lighter or darker value than another. The value study allows us to figure out first what the value pattern is before considering color. We can then use this as a map for the color painting.
-Another benefit to the value study is that it is a chance to work out the composition. As is the case with anything you do more than once, that effort will inform the next effort.
This warm up exercise in value and composition can help you hit the ground running with the painting in color even if your conscious brain doesn't feel like it really understood the value study.
Penelope is a kindergartener at Placer Academy in CA. This year I am delighted to be featured as their artist of the year. That means they are using a painting of mine as a catalyst for a gazillion really cool sounding art projects, you can see some of their great work here.
I asked Penelope and her mom if I could post this picture on my blog because I love the way it shows the who, how and when of making art so we can imagine how we might do it ourselves: at the kitchen table, with some pencils and paints, right now in our bathrobe!
It also shows that Penelope is learning to make art by copying-which never really is "copying" in the way we typically mean it because our own hand always comes through loud and clear. Its an age old practice that builds skill and helps us to understand the art we are interested in.
Here's her sketch:
Here is a Q and A about the painting itself. Can't wait for the Q and A the other way round to hear what the process has been like for them!
Value study with scale, 8"x10", oil on canvas panel.
Painting class demos. First we mapped out the values (light/dark), especially helpful when trying to represent the patterned background but still aiming to create the illusion of space/depth and an overall harmony in the picture.