Gallery: Art Connections Gallery 123 N. Main Street on the Square in La Grange, Texas.
979-206-2222 http://www.artconnectionsgallery.com/

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Studying Values and a Hint...

Phylis Baker, pastelist, commented on wetcanvas.com (I didn't write down which thread, sorry) a while back with a great idea. She takes a photo of pastels she picks out or uses for a painting and checks in black and white for the values. I often take a photograph of a painting and change it to black and white as the painting is in progress. This would help before you even get started.

I attended a workshop with Bob Rohm last year and he suggested that you pick out a color for each value before you start your painting. He didn't always end up using that color, but it was a starting point.

I put these two suggestions together when I painted the little Arches Park challenge painting the other day, but didn't have time to write about it.

Here are the photos of the pastels I chose to start with:

I don't think the mid range "brown" was too good, I didn't have a color I really liked so I scumbled the darker and lighter together. I tend to use color as a value and that doesn't always work.

As I worked on the painting, I realized I didn't pick out any greens. I also added a couple of colors to get my mid value range in the top row. Here is the full palette:

And the results in color and black and white:

This is a helpful exercise. The painting ended up with a nice amount of light, medium and dark. I will try to do this again on the next painting I start. There isn't as much variety in the greens, but they are a small portion of the painting.

Remember the color version is not true to life as I still haven't had any sun to take a better photo. The shadows on the right were much too dark in real life so I changed them. Maybe I will have sun tomorrow. It is supposed to be very cold, for here. About 50 degrees F. It got up to 80 today about 2:00 p.m. and is down to 61 degrees at 5:20 p.m. It may freeze tonight, they say. Brrrrrrr. I know, you folks up north think we are crazy to think this is cold. It is all relative I guess.


Rose Welty said...

Jo, very interesting ideas here...You sure nailed the values right! It's a great painting, btw.

You got up to 80 today? We were supposed to hit 60, but I didn't see it go above 50. We were out to a school function tonight...it's awfully cold in north TX tonight!

Jo Castillo said...

Rose, hi there! Thanks on the painting. It is fun to do something with no pressure sometimes. It was warm until after 3:30 p.m. or so. It is 37 now. Brrr. A very small amount of sleet fell so far.

fishing guy said...

Jo: Nice work on the two drawings. You really do neat work with the pastells.

Bag Blog said...

I think I could use this in teaching value to my students. Thanks!

Jo Castillo said...

Mr, Fishing Guy, thank you. Pastels are my favorite, I can paint and draw at the same time.

Jo Castillo said...

Hi Bag Blog, this seems to work. I like picking out the first three values at least as Bob Rohm said. You have a starting point.

Joan said...

Great lights in this one! I think the idea of taking a photo and viewing it in B&W would work well in any medium. Now if I wasn't so lazy........

Regina Calton Burchett said...

Great post, Jo - and good photos to match. I think I'll try this too - it sure makes the whole 'value' subject more clear.

Anonymous said...

Jo, What a great idea for values. Just started reading your blog and loving it!

Jo Castillo said...

Joan, Isn't that the truth? When I do get excited about painting something, I just plunge in, sketch as I go and end up changing most of it. I need to use patience and apply at least some of what I know about making a better painting. If you do that, it doesn't show!

Regina, I had of course even put to the side about the 3 pastels to start with that Bob Rohm demonstrated to us. I either rush into my painting or get bored if it takes too long. :(

Maggie, thank you for stopping by. From the links on your pastel blog, I must "know" you from wetcanvas.com. That site makes it a small world, huh? You have several blogs that I will have to check out. See you around. :)

BMoon said...

Gorgeous pastels! Wow....i tried using them years ago and loved them BUT i had a hard time breathing around them. Darn! Now i pen and ink and watercolor.....but sooo appreciate beautiful pastels...which you create.

Jo Castillo said...

BMoon, so far, no breathing problems. Thank you. You have a great pen and ink sketching technique. Full of fun. Thanks for visiting.

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About Me

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Bastrop, Texas, United States
I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los NiƱos. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill


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