1. When you are looking 2. Sidelight: sky is the 3. Looking wilh the light:
into the light, the sky is lightest, the ground next, sky lowered for bright-
painted as light as pos- uprights next. Paint light- ness of clouds. Ground is sible. All other values are ed areas somewhat lighter slightly lower in tone than painted a tone or two low- and shadows just a bit sky. The values are closer, er than you see them. darker than seen. softer.
Wc must remember that our pigment range of light to dark is very much less than the range we see in life. Our only chance to retain the brilliancy and contrast of the lights to the darks is to drop the middle tones and darks in value. In Number 1 the ground plane lightens as it recedes. In Number 2 it lightens from right to left. In 3 the ground lightens as it comes forward. This is important in landscape.
\[ Working against the light produces strong contrast. Working with the light produces close values within the patterns. However, the patterns may contrast.
1. When white areas such as buildings, roads, rocks, sand, or clouds exist in your subject, all other values will usually have to be lowered in order to provide enough contrast.
2. In a side lighting the sky is lighter than when the source is behind you. The shadows are darker than the sky or ground. The values are painted about as you see them.
3. Against the light the white drops below the sky in tone. Study carefully to establish the whole relationship of the sky to the rest of your subject. "Skies make the picture."
Acquainting oneself with the changes of value that come to the same material on different days, or even within the same day, becomes a fascinating study. When we manipulate values, we are seeking the larger truths within our pigmentary limitations, just as wc stop down a camera lens for values.
Portrait of an Old Man by Andrew Loomis
you will begin to see your painting lake on light.
I should perhaps qualify my statement that the degree of difference between light and shadow will be the same for all shadows, for there is an exception in the case of reflected light thrown back into the shadow. The original separation would be correct if we were to take away the source of the reflected light. Hut the value of a shadow on which light is reflected is of course higher than thai of the other shadows. It is very important to study how much the value has been raised. Also, has the whole value of the whole shadow been raised? Most often traces of the original value are left at the edges, between the lighted area and the shadow. This is what artisis call the "hump" (the turning point of the form), which the reflected light may not be able to reach. To most artists, reflected light on shadow is a delight to paint, for it gives great luminosity to Ihe shadow. If we paint reflected light too light, it cuts down the brilliance of the neighboring area of light. Sometimes reflected light in a warm light is even warmer in the shadow than it is in the light, for it is color reflected back upon itself. This is what makes the shadows in a flower so brilliant. The pink of a rose seems more brilliant in the shadows between the petals than it docs in the light on the petals. This is a perfect example of color radiances, and we should strive to include a similar cffect around the lighted areas of our paintings.
Values can be analyzed by comparison. Look for the lightest area in the light, then for the next lower value, and on down the scale. Then look for the degree of contrast between the lightest area and its shadow. Set the value of this shadow-down beside the lightest area. It is at the top of the value scale for the shadows, and all other shadows are lowered in the same ratio with the scale of values in the light, keeping the same degree of contrast.
If this is not clear, some comparisons may help. On the piano the relationship of E to G is the same as that of D to F; both are two notes apart, but the latter is lower in scale. The number 3 has the same relationship to 5 as 2 has to 4; they are both two units apart, but the latter are less in amount.
If you number the areas in your drawing, making the lightest 1, and the next 2, the scale would run like this:
Shadow (two tones Light darker than the light)
1. Highest value 3. Lightest value
It is a good idea to mix a black-and-white scale along a flat stick and use this alongside your color palette to determine what the values of the various colors are in terms of black-and-white. In this manner you build the value scales in your picture according to the black-and-white scale, or as they would appear in a black-and-white photograph, and then transpose the correct value to color by means of your value stick. Color can be very deceptive as to value. Because it is vivid, we arc inclined lo think it lighter than it really is. Thai is why the black-and-white value scale is so helpful.
If you comparc your value scale to nature you will no doubt find that the whole range of the scale is lower than the colors appear in actual light. That is what is meant by the limitation of pigment values. Our white is not as bright as sunlight. All we can do is to try to find the relationships from lightest to darkest and paint them in that order, even if a value has to be painted lower than we sec it to keep it in scale.
Much painting lacks quality because the artist docs not fully understand the value limitations of his pigments. Instead of arranging his values in proper sequence, he gets some lighter than nature, some like nature, some darker than nature, and so produces incorrect degrees of contrast in his work. His picture appears dull, and he does not three tones on white three tones on light gray
three tones on black
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