Class Notes: The Value of VALUE

What does it mean when we talk about VALUE?
Simply stated - VALUEs are the lights and darks in a painting, photo, etc.
Understanding VALUE in painting means knowing how to explain the LIGHT. What is it doing? Where is it coming from? How does it affect the objects it touches? It is also through VALUE that we make objects look 3 dimensional.
In class we have been painting quick, small set ups, on white, in order to get a sense for values in a still life.
One approach is to recognize the darkest part of the still life.
Is it a dark colored object or a cast shadow? Conversely, what is the lightest part? That could be where an object is getting the full blast of the light or just a very light part of the set up.
Either way, once those are clearly identified you can work your "values" in between the darkest dark and the lightest light, always comparing one value against another.
In both cases above I have used this method without trying to create any specific value "plan" - except to try to CONNECT the darks. By connecting the dark values, I try to lead the viewer's eye through the painting.
More about VALUEs later.
The countdown to Christmas is on. Here's wishing you a week of festive anticipation and the energy to enjoy it.

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