Thursday, March 28, 2013

Changing My Values

"When you begin to act on your creativity, what you find inside may be more valuable than what you produce for the external world."
                                                                                                                            - Eileen Clegg

Still life set up. Gorgeous rich colors, right? Forget 'em!

I woke up too early this morning, but my brain was buzzing too much to get back to sleep. I've been taking a short art course in the basics - value, composition, etc.; the areas I feel I am the weakest in. Last night was the culmination of our study in values and we painted from some beautiful still life vignettes the instructor set up. However, we could only paint in one color. The idea was to force us to focus on the lights and darks in the models, not those wonderful, enticing colors. We were also instructed to block in the values and slowly build the shapes up, not to worry about details and carefully rendered form. As a detail junkie, this was a challenge!

I took a painting course back in college. Beginning Painting 101 probably. The course was fairly worthless. I believe the instructor gave us a 15 minute overview of color theory at the beginning of the course and then we spent the whole rest of the semester just painting, with no guidance to speak of. I definitely am learning more in this art class than I did in that entire college course.  

Creating a value scale from phthalo blue

A few weeks ago we created color value scales to practice training our eyes to see the lights and darks in colors, not just in gray which is the more common value scale. It took me over an hour to mix the paints correctly.

My value study of the still life

Here is the painting I ended up with last night. I really did focus on just blocking in the lights and darks so when I got up and stepped back from the easel I was shocked to see that those blobs of paint had formed recognizable objects. This may not be an amazing work of art on the surface but, for me personally, it represents a huge leap forward in fine art development and I'm willing to lose a little sleep for that excited accomplished feeling.


Sherrie York said...

Excellent! Get the values and shapes right and "voila!" (If only it really were that easy.) Don't those "aha!" moments feel great?

Vanessa Turner said...

Looking good! The values are definitely in there. I like how you have omitted what's not necessary too.

Gabrielle said...

Hi Sherrie and Vanessa,

Thanks for your comments!

Elva Paulson said...

Great post!