Value and color…brothers or distant cousins?

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It all began as a way of clearly demonstrating to those who have signed up for “Beginner’s Day”, PleinAir Live 2022, the importance of value preceding color when creating a successful painting. I considered this and thought the best way to demonstrate the concept is to first create a painting using only black and white and then apply color over that. Two things become immediately noticeable: 1) It’s value, not color, that creates the mood for a painting. Color only enhances the mood. 2) If the value is correct and that same value is matched when applying color, the chances for success are pretty darn high.

I have been creating black and white studies in preparation for larger works for many years. These have been followed by color studies matching the predetermined values established in the black and white. Not until now have I actually combined the two into one painting. The effect can easily catch one off guard for it is both stunning and subtle at the same time.

I decided to take a chance and enter one of these new works in the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society “Best of America Small Works 2022” competition. Needless to say, I was very excited that the work was accepted for the show because it’s something totally different for me. The show is to be held at the Beverly McNeil Gallery in Birmingham, Alabama from 28 April – 27 May 2022. (Click images to enlarge)

Golden Open Acrylic (Carbon Black and Titanium White)

“Transitions” – 10″ x 16″ – Oil over acrylic on paper, mounted to hardboard (Palette: Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red Medium, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Titanium White)


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