Thursday, January 16, 2014

Intensity & Value Practice

  This sketch was done from an on-location journal sketch (below). A tool here for seeing value & composition more clearly : viewing it in black & white

Some differences between the original (below) & the newer version (above):
Above: •More value contrast, using the white of the paper
•Less intense or pure greens  (mixing complementaries)
•Fewer "scribbles" (lines)
•Allowing more sky which defines the foliage a bit more
I was more conscious of the art elements in the revised version. I had written about the original sketch in 2012: "Such a tangle of plants! The challenge is to simplify.
     I'm trying to focus on value as well as color." 

And I'm STILL trying to simplify & to focus on value! I resist making value studies because want to jump right to the color.  Autumn landscapes are especially challenging with their enticing colors!


  1. Rita -- If I am to understand your method -- you are using the black and white version to clarify your vision of intense simplicity? Going forward you then you can inject intensity on a simple scale making the sketch pop but with less "tangle." My words, I know, just trying to sort out how you envision some of your sketches. I do like what you have done with composition and color on the recent sketch. -- barbara

  2. Ahhhhh, great lesson and examples.

  3. Incredible! I think I'd be unable to "translate" what I see in B&W with pencils!
    I like the result!
    Once I saw a movie where a painter could paint only in B&W. It was very impressive..

  4. It is wonderful you can do this Rita!

  5. Beautiful!! And I DO like the version a lot with all the white space, Rita! Wonderful!! xoxo Silke

  6. Gdybym widziała tylko dolne zdjęcia, to by mi się bardzo podobały. Jednak po Twoich poprawkach, te górne bardzie do mnie przemawiają i są po prostu ładniejsze. Pozdrawiam serdecznie.

  7. This looks like a very valuable process for you (and no pun intended!) I was challenged to try a similar experiment a year and a half ago. Working in black and white was difficult for me, but also a learning experience in the importance of value.

  8. I see a lot of this around here with Elenka's work. I've learned a lot about painting being with her.

  9. Love this lesson - more to think about and try. Value: new term for me. xx

  10. You know, many, many years ago when I took a W/C course at MECA I learned how unforgiving watercolors can be. It's difficult to re-do on the same sheet of paper without getting that muddied look. The instructor taught me how important the white of the paper is. Let it be. Let the viewers eye make connections….not every detail needs to be there. Valuable lesson.
    Never thought about making the painting black and white. I often take photos of my work just for me too look at. Interesting how stuff shows up in a photograph that I don't even see right there in front of my eyes.

  11. You brought back memories of a watercolor class I took a few years ago--the teacher had us make a black-and-white value sketch before we began painting. It was very helpful! Both your sketches are lovely, but I can clearly see the more defined values in the second one.


Thank you for your comments! They mean a lot to me!