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Value Study

Do you fall into the same downfall of lacking value change in a painting like I do?

What is the importance of value in a painting, what makes a painting excel over others? Let’s see we can figure value and the importance of it in a painting.

This is a painting I recently created called “Michelle’s Trees”. This is done with Brusho on the back side of a new substrate that I’m in a beta testing group on Facebook. After posting it the first time in the beta group I realized it was lacking much needed value change. Isn’t it crazy, at least for me, I post a painting then after seeing it posted it needs more work? What if I took a day or two before posting, making sure it doesn’t need tweaking? Hmmm, I need to start practicing that.

What is value, it’s the change between light and dark. An interesting article on value can be read online on the Fine Art Tips https://www.finearttips.com/2010/05/the-importance-of-value-tone-in-painting/ In the article they say “Simply put, value is the lightness or darkness of a color or hue.” If you take a photo of your painting with your smartphone, most apps on your phone you can change your photo to grayscale. So many of us use our smartphones for photographing our art. When you change a painting to grayscale, you can see the difference in value change easier then with the human eye. When I’m working on a painting, I actually need to squint to see the difference in the values, changing to grayscale I feel makes it easier to see where you need to increase or decrease the values. Here is and example of the “Michelle’s Trees”. My first example of the painting is in color and then changed to grayscale. What do you see? Do the tree trunks blend into the sky? Here are my thoughts let’s see if you agree with them?

I see good values (lights and darks) in the foreground grassy area. The dark grasses make the tree trunks in the grass pop. You can see the lights of the trunks and you can see the dark side of the trunks with the lighter areas of the grass. Possible a few more darks, there usually is room for improvement.

The leaves have pretty good value changes. White areas where the white of the paper, the lightest value where the sun is peeking through to the darkest area where the leaves are the thickest and casting shadows. Also, the darker areas are laying more to the sides of the painting which helps draw your minds eye to the lighter area towards the center. This helps tell the story in the painting.

The tree trunks that are the middle of the painting. Do I have a light side and a darker side to the trunks, yes, does that help give the look of a curved tree trunk yes? But what is wrong, why do the trunks not pop off the page? I feel the sky between the tree trunk is the same value as most of those trunks.

The second photo showing the painting in color and in grayscale shows where I thought my best options to make those tree trunks pop is to darken the sky on the lighter side of the trunks and keep the sky lighter on the darker side of the trunks.

What are your thoughts?

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Trees Value Study with Low Value

Trees Value Study with Low Value

 

Trees Value Study with High Value

Brusho Trees Value Study with High Value

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