Friday, July 24, 2009


I spend most mornings exercising in the pool, so I wake up and put on my suit before I have a chance to talk myself out of it. This morning I went into the studio to get some drawings transfered to watercolor paper in preparation for painting before I left for the pool. Well, I started painting and never left the house! About noon I decided to change out of my suit. It wasn't going to get wet today.

My project was to create illustrations for my book showing how one value study can be painted in a variety of ways depending on what value represented light, mid and dark. It's a lot easier to paint than it is to verbalize the concept in a few sentences. I am finding the wording a challenge. Most of these paintings are 9 x 12. I started out doing 4.5 x 6 paintings but found it difficult to paint "neatly" so small. I used the same three colors for all of the paintings. My photography and adjustments have slightly altered the color, but you get the idea. The colors are Quin Gold by Sennelier (it has a green tinge to it) Brown Madder and Indigo. The last image is a different value pattern than the rest. One of the samples got away from me and deviated from the value pattern. I will leave it up to the viewer to decide which one that is.

Painting really goes so much faster when decisions like value and color are decided in advance, not to mention the success rate goes up. I know which basic colors I am going to work with before I start, but I decide as I go along what will go where. It's great to only have to focus on technique and the color choices. There's still enough surprises to keep it interesting. If it were totally worked out in advance, it would take the fun out of painting for me.


Lucy said...

These are wonderful. I am studying them carefully to see how one translates value in grays to values in color. Any pointers?

Dan Kent said...

Well, I've been staring at this homely man and I'm stumped. To me nos. 1, 2 and 5 have roughly similar value contrasts. On no. 4, the colors of the face seem to me to have approximately the same value, but on no. 3 the right side of the face seems to me to have lighter value than the mid portion, which would be different as well. So, for me, the odd man out is 3 or 4 - if I have to choose it'd be no. 3.

Myrna said...

Thank you Lucy and Dan for commenting. Lucy's answer will be my next post...too long for here. Dan, WE HAVE A WINNER! Yes, #3 got a little away from me. A little deviation is fine, except when you are trying to create examples!

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