Good Values

"Wonderful World", oil, 6x6"
"Value does the work, color gets the glory."
Richard McKinley
Why is it so important to have a good understanding of values when you paint?

1. Values describe the scene in three important ways:
  • Whether the subject has volume or is flat.
  • What kind of texture the surface of the subject has.
  • Where the light source is located, and how bright it is.
2. Values create the visual structure of the painting
  • The darks and lights of a painting do more than just provide descriptive information-they also determine its structure.

When you look just at the values you see the movement through the painting.

Take the time to do a thoughtful value drawing thumbnail before you begin a painting. This one to the right is very small and has already helped me prepare for my next painting!

Have fun playing with your paints and pastels!


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