Saturday, August 20, 2011

Value of Practice

Last week I did a second value poster study with my class. We are attempting to solidify this concept before moving on to color temperature. Here is the very quick demo I did for them.
They all worked hard the first week to understand what they were seeing and get it down, judging one value against another as they painted from the background to the foreground and from darkest to lightest.

We used raw umber and ivory black to mix our darkest value, then mixed a middle value.

Using mixtures of the middle value with our homemade black we mixed two additional dark values.

Then we used the middle value with titanium white to mix two additional light values.

This resulted in a string of color puddles that gave us 7 values to work with. They should eventually work toward seeing 9 or 10 values.

This gave them experience simplifying basic forms into values without the complication of color or temperature.

It also gave them experience mixing paint into color strings, a great way to work and the method I teach.

Next week we will continue with this two steps forward and one step back journey learning these color theory concepts.

I will have them do a rub out painting using burnt umber which is a standard under painting practice and one my students love once they give it a try.

Patience my lovely students, remember practice while reaching is learning! Linger in the uncomfortable zone.
This is one of my 9x12 figure sketches using this technique. I painted it in Charleston last fall while on the Women Painting Women on Expedition painting retreat. 

Here is a link to a few of my other posts about teaching including one about the rub out technique. I'll post the demo after class next week.


  1. Great exercises for your lucky students. I also love the term "uncomfortable zone." Good painters know the different zones they encounter in the process and accept it and move on.

  2. Thank you Deborah, it is so true! I found that concept talked about in The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle, a very interesting book about learning. I recognized the zone and realized I'm there a lot!

  3. hah, I actually laughed out loud at your comment

    "Patience my lovely students, remember practice while reaching is learning! Linger in the uncomfortable zone. "

    Then I looked over my shoulder to make sure you were not in my studio watching my frustration. It never occurred to me to linger in the uncomfortable zone, I try to flee as quickly as possible....hmmm

    Looking forward to seeing more posts from your workshops. I so wish Vancouver was closer to Birmingham, I would be a regular fixture in your workshops :)

  4. Awe, I wish it was too. I'm learning about teaching as I go and analyzing what it is I'm doing when I paint trying to figure out how to get it across. I'm learning so much from my students!



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