Value for form

 Depth is important when you paint a big scale landscape. But when it comes to the individual object, you need value to show the form of the object to make it 3-dimensional and believable. 
We are able to see form of the things around us because of the lighting. So the value in this case will help to establish the light and the dark of on the object. From buildings in the city, cars on the street, a person wearing a shirt under the sun, to the nose and the cheeks on that person's face, value plays a huge role to help the viewers read the forms. Painting light with value will enable your viewer to tell which way the surface of the object is facing. In the future I will go over with you how to paint different type of shadow. Now let's look at some examples:

 

The painting of my wife when she was 8 month pregnant.

The painting of my wife when she was 8 month pregnant.

Now the same painting in black and white, you can still read clearly of her round belly, folds of her cloth, and subtle form of her face. (now looking at it black and white, I actually really like it) :)

Now the same painting in black and white, you can still read clearly of her round belly, folds of her cloth, and subtle form of her face. (now looking at it black and white, I actually really like it) :)

I really like this portrait of Anastasia, mainly because of the brush stroke I was able to pull off and the warm and cool colors. But it's the value that keep you from lost in the color and show the form of her face.

I really like this portrait of Anastasia, mainly because of the brush stroke I was able to pull off and the warm and cool colors. But it's the value that keep you from lost in the color and show the form of her face.

It is not a dramatic lighting with very dark shadow, but you can still see the form of the face, how to cheek and the nose receive more light while the bottom of the nose is in the shadow.

It is not a dramatic lighting with very dark shadow, but you can still see the form of the face, how to cheek and the nose receive more light while the bottom of the nose is in the shadow.

Now back to landscape, this is a quick painting of Washington lakeside in Kirkland.

Now back to landscape, this is a quick painting of Washington lakeside in Kirkland.

Now turn that painting into black and white. You can clearly see the lighting from above and the side by looking at the boat and the gangway. It is also worth noting that it is the value that makes the ripple. Because the subtle value shift from light to dark, you can feel the wavy water.

Now turn that painting into black and white. You can clearly see the lighting from above and the side by looking at the boat and the gangway. It is also worth noting that it is the value that makes the ripple. Because the subtle value shift from light to dark, you can feel the wavy water.

 Value is powerful, and it definitely worth our attention and effort to study and practice.  There are many people who get distracted by all the techniques and tricks that the masters use, but they skim on the fundamentals that makes a painting great in the first place. I will end this week's post with a digital painting by artist Robh Ruppel. If you look at these paintings in a distance, they look like photos. But if you look closely, they are just value shapes. That's how powerful value is.

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