7.5 "x 4.5" oil on unmounted gessoed canvas. Alla Prima.
Painted from my photo from Surfside Beach, SC.
I've begun working on some exercises from artist Peggi Kroll- Robert's videos. I thought I would study these to help me see the simpler shapes and loosen up my approach to image making. I bought all six of her 30 minute lessons and am learning several things that are so important––things that I seem to have missed along the way. One mystery that was cleared up for me was what the heck to do with a value study? If I made one, I hardly ever referred to it.
In this particular painting I was working with a three-value study. It is difficult to understand the process from looking at this finished study, but the idea is to keep the local colors within those three values that you choose from the outset. With the aid of a gray value scale placed on my board, I matched the local colors to these three values (using the value scale on my board), painting in the dark colors first, middle values next and then the lights. At the end I just added a light or dark here and there just where I thought it was needed.
Another part of this exercise was to combine the dark shapes or connect them as you simplify them––the same done with the other two values. The purpose of working this way is to establish in the beginning the value plan that reads across the room as well as it does up close. Then when you add color you purpose to keep your colors in that same value plan. The end result should be a painting that is organized by value and reads well from any distance. Establishing that value plan in the beginning is essential.
This last weekend I watched all the videos, one after another. After all that input, my mind was swimming! It really helped that I took some notes as I watched or I would have been so lost about how to start. I have combined several of the exercises together in this painting being the impatient artist that I am. I wanted instant, end-of-workshop, super painting! Now I need to go back and slow down and do the exercises step by step... or do I?