Sunday, May 20, 2007

Free art lesson. Value study.

This is pretty crazy. But I'm showing you what a difference value can make in a painting. The reason I show it isn't to set myself up as knowing something, it's to maybe help another person while they're trying to learn to become an artist. I learned everything the long hard way. I didn't have many resources, there was no internet back then and art lessons cost money I didn't have.

I've often thought, if I could just "pay it forward" maybe someone else could become a good artist from what I've learned, and it would save them a lot of time.

The point of this lesson in values is this, look at the way your eye is drawn to certain points in each of the four examples above. The reason your eye goes to those places is this, that is where the lightest color in the example meets the darkest color in the example.

When you plan your painting, think ahead and decide which part of the painting will be where you want people to look the longest. That will be the point of the painting that helps to tell the story of what's going on. That is where you'll place the most intense value change of the entire painting. Save your lightest light and your darkest dark for that particular place and you'll create what's called the "focal point". Every great painting has one.

Don't place your darkest dark anywhere else on the painting, and don't place your lightest light anywhere else on the painting. Save them for this exciting thing called the "Focal Point". The human eye can see the smallest variations in value changes so you still have plenty of value ranges to use in the rest of your painting.

If you scroll down that jpg I placed above, your eye will follow the focal points of each demo. Proof that it works!