Saturday, January 4, 2014

Creating form through values--new video

Defined, value is light and dark or what is also called chiaroscuro (kee-ar-uh-SKYOOR-o). Without value, there would be no form; that is, everything would be flat. For instance, see below. We have a circle--no dimension, just a flat line. Now when we had light and dark to the circle, it becomes a sphere. That's value in all its glory.

This is all seems so simple, why even  bother to talk about it? That's because seeing and creating value is hard. Let's examine the photo below, which I took at Polly's Tea Room in Marlborough, England. We can see that the light is coming from the window and the dark is on the opposite side, spilling onto the window sill. But there's lots of details here that make these tea pots three-dimensional  (form). Sometimes it helps when we convert the photo to black and white as seen below.

If you compare both photos you can see that the red colored pot is much darker than the yellow. Notice the shadows on the objects--both have dark sides, but the variation in values is substantially different. There are also a variety of shadows on the window sill and the window itself. Observation is the key here.

On most color wheels bought at the store, you will find a value scale, numbering to about 10 different values. I personally find this wide number to be hard to read and even harder to translate when drawing or painting. Instead I used a five scale value chart.

Anyone who has taken my drawing workshop or class has one of these in her packet. It's a great tool to help us see the values in the objects we are drawing, especially if drawing from a converted black and white photograph. For a quick exercise, look at the b&w photograph above and compare it to the value bar. It really helps to put things into perspective.

A first in a series of videos
I'm embarking on another new method in teaching in 2014--the video. My first is A Study in Values, which I have embedded below. Soon I'll be adding other subjects. I'd like to share my "premiere" with you.  I think my scripting (ha, ha) could use a little help. But I hope you learn something from this short little film. It was fun to make.

A Study in Values

Workshop and Class Offerings for 2014!

May Workshop in England--Only three spots left!
Only Three More Spots Available for the Sketching the English Village Workshop in May. Go to for more details.
Glastonbury Studios Six-Week Classes 
Winter Term 2014
Classes start week of January 12, 2014
Registration deadline: Wednesday, January 8, 2014*
Register by email:

Drawing every Tuesday evening 7 pm to 9 pm $70 per term
Portraits: from skull to flesh

New Class!
The Wednesday Morning Art Club10 am to 12 pm $75 per term
Mixing Colors with Watercolor and Acrylics
Details at:

New Class!

Acrylic Painting every Wednesday afternoon1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. $80 per term
Painting with Primaries, Part I

Acrylic Painting every Thursday evening 
6:30 pm to 9:00 pm $80 per term
Painting with Primaries, Part II
Class full/waiting list

Second Sundays 1 p.m. To 4 p.m.
Visual Journaling with collage and mixed mediaDrop in $20 Details at:

*To guarantee your seat in class, you must register and send your check in by January 8th. Without advanced registration, I will give seats away to those on waiting lists for full classes and for those classes that don't meet the minimum (usually four students), the class will be cancelled.

Workshops at Portland Community College
Saturday, January 25 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Basic Drawing One-Day Workshop (almost full)
Sylvania campus

Saturday, March 8 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Travel Sketching: One-Day Workshop
Sylvania campus