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Monday, March 2, 2015

March Paintover: Studies in Grey

Hey guys, sorry for the long absence but the last two months have been pretty busy! Fortunately I'm back on track and I've got two crits left from our workshop! And first up is a very quick paintover for Stephania from the IDEA Academy workshop.

Before that I wanted to talk a bit about working in greyscale. When I first starting drawing and painting at the college level, my teachers had us working only in charcoal. This tradition goes back to the earliest art academies, where it was taught ( and still is ) that painting is 90% drawing.  The result of working in grayscale is that you develop a strong sense of depth and graphic patterns without the distraction of color. Above is one of my charcoal pieces where I was very much concerned from the beginning with the interplay of light and dark shapes

turning now to our next paintover, I see that Stephania 's environmental sketch could benefit from some value adjustment. The first thing to do is simply to turn down the saturation to see how this looks without the color ( note: this is not a 100% accurate way to see your values, but for our purposes it's close enough ).

As you can see, everything is kind of sitting in the middle gray range, so the quickest thing is to simply push the values lighter or darker- and the most basic way to do that is to use atmospheric perspective ( the tendency of objects to have more contrast as they get closer to the eye )

Now, the different shapes are distinct from each other and sit in a space which make some kind of sense. This makes things much easier to 'read' visually, and sets you up to start breaking up the big shapes to take it to the level of render that you have in mind

As always, I recommend starting with big simple shapes ( much of this I'm creating by simply using the selection tool ). Rending beyond this state is simply a matter of breaking the shapes into smaller and more precise shapes. Even the addition of some simple gradients also help to define the space better

So that's it for this lesson- I highly recommend going out and doing some value studies-I may do some myself!


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