Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fixing Light and Shadow with Greys

One of the biggest problems I've seen with plein air painting students in my workshops (other than lack of drawing skills, as I mentioned in an earlier post) is learning how to see value before seeing color.  Value is a tool we use to create a two-dimensional representation of the three-dimensional world; color is a tool we use to add mood and a sense of the moment.  Frequently, students will think of color first and value second or not at all.  But getting the values right -- and getting them right first, before color -- is essential to good plein air painting.

One approach I teach is to start with a monochromatic underpainting.  This lets you get create a solid representation of your subject before getting into trouble with color.  Here's a video that shows you how:


(If you're getting this via email, you won't see the video.  Go here instead: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Pn0PIH2M0uI)

Here's on more that shows a sequence without sound:



(Again, for email receipients: https://www.youtube.com/embed/d_uqo2Qr1lA)

More videos are available at my online workshop!  https://www.udemy.com/user/michaelchesleyjohnson/

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