Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Struggle With Values

Brass Vases still life study
   Yes, I struggle with values almost daily. Well, not quite daily or I'd be better at figuring them out. As you can see from the picture here, the values are a bit muddy and inconsistent. This is a study, not a finished painting. It took three hours of mixing, thinking, eating chocolate and discussing the situation with my most patient, kind and skillful teacher  http://www.kendewaard.com/ Ken DeWaard.
   Going to painting from drawing is a challenge for me; if making good lines is the priority things move along ok but when I have to think about values, in different colors, I am feeling my way into unknown territory. And it feels exactly like groping in the dark for that lost key.
   Yes, this is a mess. I'm posting it because I expect to do something better, and then again better, through the coming weeks. Keeping these studies and attempts up where I can see them is helpful. No matter what the problems are in a painting session there is always something to learn and seeing the improvements over time is very satisfying. If only the 'good' pieces are looked at it's harder to see the progress, but compare what one thinks of as a 'good' painting with some earlier efforts is very gratifying.
    It's great fun to work hard on something that I have no idea how to do. Mixing color is one, making values coherent through a whole picture in different colors is another. Each time a small part of it is learned it feels like a big step taken and a door opens, just a bit, on one of the best things in life to find: potential. Through that slightly opened doorway of understanding value, I glimpse the potential of creating a painting someday that speaks of light and beauty.

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