Saturday, July 21, 2012

SUBTLE VALUES ON A HAZY DAY

HAZY DAY IN MAY     12x16     oil on canvas panel
The last painting I posted was done on an overcast day.  Like I said, I usually steer clear of painting on these days because of the reduced contrasts and flattening of patterns due to the lack of light and shadow.  Still, I find myself drawn to the quiet muted color harmonies produced under this kind of lighting, and there's really no reason not to experiment with what's going on. It's still beautiful, just a bit more difficult to control.

This composition had to be designed in simplified bands of value shapes: sky, thicket, ground plane. If you're not careful the whole thing can become chaotic, because there aren't marked differences in the values. If you pay close attention to what's happening within these subtle value groups you find opportunities for working in temperature changes rather than strong value patterns.  There still has to be some type of organizing pattern of light and dark to unify the painting into an interesting design.  Here's what it looks like in values only.

See what I mean?  If the values don't work as a stand alone image, you don't have a painting worth painting.  I really like the look of this value study.  It invites my imagination to close on the picture.

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