Thursday, January 24, 2008

Shaping Your Values

Yesterday I showed the importance of values and value differentiation. Why is that and how do you make your value shapes better?

Why Values are Important:
"The value pattern is the structure that holds a painting together and the details merely entertain." Carl Purcell, Painting with Your Artist's Brain, p. 109.
  • The reason that values are so important is because the way that our eyes register what they see. Your eyes see the value patterns (or shapes of the different areas of value) first, then your brain decides what it is that you see.
  • Maggie Steifvater's recent portrait, Billy and Bertie, demonstrates this idea. As you see she's got funky colors all over the place, colors that those dogs definitely don't wear - but why does the painting work? It works because the values are right. The color in this case (i.e. the detail) is only there to entertain and Maggie is an excellent entertainer!

How do make your value shapes better: (this is, of course, relative, but Purcell has some good ideas)
  • extend your dark shapes to hit edges of the piece
  • put your dark and light shapes next to each other at the focal point
  • keep your light areas around the focal point

These images are some more practice with a brush and ink.


Jo Castillo said...

I've never worked with brush and ink. Looks fun. I like the flower, nice gesture.

Katherine said...

That first one is really nice.

BTW, if you align your pics to the right you'll find they don't want to 'kiss' the buller points. Plus people read from left to right so always better to have words on the left and pics on the right.

Kasie @ ~The Art of Life~ said...

I love your brush drawings! Very nice Rose. :)