Friday, March 19, 2010

Color as Value Lesson

I find that the place most students get stuck is translating color into value. Finding the right colors and values is all about viewing your subject matter as values in relationship to each other. One aspect of the still life will appear as one value, if you are looking at it in isolation, but the trick is to look at everything in relationship to each other, according to their values. Students often try to determine the value of any given part of the setup, but if they are looking at it in isolation, their values will be off. Its about seeing all values in the context of the entire setup - NOT in isolated pieces.

Here is an example of the setup we had in class today at Rye Arts Center - as well as my quick value (charcoal) sketch (approx. 3"x2") and my acrylic painting, done in about 20 minutes, on 9x12 paper/board. I pushed the values, somewhat, making the background the darkest value and assigning the items in the still life a light value and 2 shades of grey. While I worked on the painting, I taped the value sketch in front of me to make sure that I'm staying on target. This value sketch is my "road map". If I am satisfied with the values I established in the sketch, I will stick with them thru the painting, regardless of the variations in the actual setup.


new york paintings said...


I adore your work, in particular your street paintings of New York, they really inspire me.

Are you in a gallery in New York? Do you sell mainly from your website?

Take care


patti mollica said...

Hi Pete
thanks for your comment. I am in several galleries,
Simie Maryles Gallery in Provincetown, MA
Chasen Gallery in Richmond, VA
Johnny Apollo Gallery in Nyack, NY
best, patti