WORKSHOP ON VALUES, SHADOWS, LIGHTS AND DARKS
I just went to a workshop held by Mary Hubley, a well known artist here in St. Augustine, and her focus was on the value system. My darkest and lightest values are easy for me, but my midtones, or mid values, needed work. Yes, even professionals need ongoing education.
It was a full day of work for 10 people. We spent the morning reviewing worksheets with information on the value system, and how to paint shadows to achieve the most effect. We were given a photo and questions to guide us. Most interesting was the difference between warm and cool shadows and values.
Looking at the photo above answer these questions:
1. What is the primary light source? Answer: The sun coming from the left-Warm light
2. What is the secondary light source? Answer: The sky in general-Cool light
3. What is the temperature of the light? Answer: Sun-Warm, Sky-Cool
4. What is the temperature of the shadow? Answer: shadow from sun-warm, shadow from the sky is cool
5. What is the direction of the primary light source? Answer: From sun - left, sky- all over!!
6. What is the color of the object (local or basic color) causing the shadow? Tree - Green
7. What is the color of the surface in local and cast shadows? Local-under tree-green & cast is road and across road - blue
8. What color would the light/shadow be on an overcast day? Cool
9. What causes short shadows and long shadows? Location of the sun or time of day
10. What is the best time of day for getting good shadows? The "magic hour" is up to one hour after sunrise and one hour before dusk: produces the longest and darkest shadows!
KINDS OF LIGHT AND SHADOW
1. Where is the light source in the photo of the sphere? Above and right
2. What light and shadow temperatures would this be on a sunny day? Warm light - cool shadow
3. What if the main light was a candle in a dark room? Warm light - warm shadow. If there were also light coming in from a cool North window, then warm light - cool shadow!
IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER
1. Shadows are part of the local or base color, just darker and warmer or cooler depending on the light source. Shadows on the earth will still have earth tone!
2. Shadows have texture, but less texture than a brightly lit area.
3. Shadows are not painted with flat black. Mix the color especially with Payne's Grey.
4. Shadows vary in tone / value. They are not always very dark. The further a cast shadow is from the object, the lighter it will get.
5. Shadows vary in hard / soft edges. The further a cast shadow is from the object, the softer the edges become.
Using these principles, I pretty much completed two paintings, each is 8 x 10 in size.
Painting 1. This painting is pretty good, but I brought up the highlight around bottom of window with too much white and had to bring it back down. Also, the orange flowers needed more highlighting and the dark in the window was too dark. On the other hand, the shadows under the eaves and the flowers are great! Midtones!
Painting 2: This one is much better! I still need to lighten the background just a bit, but overall it came out very nicely! Notice the bright sunlight across the pathway and up the tree? Warm! But in the foreground you see cool light spots among the shadows.
Here you see Mary in the dark hair and green shirt. We are getting ready to start the workshop. It was held at the St. Augustine Beach Art Studio and Gallery. In the back left corner you can see that the new sign still hasn't been hung! LOL!