Thursday, August 25, 2016

Color Has Value

cantaloupe oil painting by sarah sedwick
"Cantaloupe Slices"
9 x 9 inches, oil on Arches oil paper

If there's one thing I say over and over again to my students, it's this: you can paint something any color you want, as long as you nail the value, it will work! 
The single most important element of realistic representational painting is value: how light or dark something is on the gray scale. And that's relative to everything else in the painting - so our goal as painters is to train our eyes to perceive that hierarchy of values. 

Sketching is great for this, but black and white oil studies are even better. You kill two birds with one stone, really - focusing on values, and also practicing your mixing and brushwork.

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