The Value of Value Spotting
In my high school Atelier I devised a warm up exercise to engage the students in an exercise that seems to be driving home the value of value spotting. It is one of many critical elements in the creation of a sound image. It is part of our craft, which when executed well, attracts a viewer to your painting from across the room.
Before my students begin painting their still lifes each session, they must take turns working on their timed ongoing value sketch. It is run like a game and it is fun. They are translating, from a printed full color masterwork, a value sketch based on the spotting of values the master artist used. It is refining their recognition of a good distribution of value, and helping them to distill out of the full color image the value relationships present. I am hoping this exercise will carry over to how they explain values in their own full color paintings when they compose and look at their still lifes, "..four times for every one time," that they put the brush to canvas!
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