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Monday, February 06, 2012

Here's a Great Tool for Seeing Value

'Three Wishes II' 8x10 pastel on home made board

Color step aside and give Value the Glory! You probably have heard it said that value does all the work in a painting but color gets the glory. Color is usually the first thing we are drawn to when looking at a painting. But if the values aren't right and the painting doesn't have a good value structure then the painting may not hold our attention for long. Last week I did several black & white paintings because I wanted to focus on seeing values. By removing the distraction of color I was able to see the big shapes of light & dark. Doing small value studies is also a big help. It is so important to be able to see value but it takes practice. There are some tools to help you and today I want to share a high tech tool....the VALUE VIEWER iPhone App.

'Three Wishes' 5x7 Black & White Pastel
painting available for $75 email for details

If you have an iPhone then you might want to consider this handy app Value Viewer developed by Mark Putnam. Here is a description of the app taken from the website:

ValueViewer is an indespensible tool for artists who paint from life. Whether en plein air or in the studio, ValueViewer will allow the user to take a photo of their subject, view it in greyscale, or posterize it into three values. You may also select an existing image directly from a photo album on your iPhone. There are seven different value levels that will help you "key" your painting correctly, and assist in helping you "see" value, even in the most unforgiving light. The image can be zoomed in and out, and scrolled into position to help you find just the right composition for your painting. Convenient overlays in standard aspect ratios help you crop the image to fit your canvas.

I have the app and it really comes in handy. I sometimes like to work from black & white reference photos so I am not so influenced by the local colors in the scene. I usually convert my photo to B & W and then print it but it is easier to snap a photo of my reference with my iPhone and look at it in B&W with the Value Viewer app. This is just one tool and I have more to share including a very low tech tool in a future post.
How do you see value?

6 comments: said...

This is a lovely painting. Lots of mood and brings back memories for me.Thanks for the info on the value app.

Mariela said...

I love this painting, it has something magical in it...

Karen said...

Thank you Julie!I'm glad you enjoyed the painting! There is also another iphone app that someone just told me about so I am going to check into it!

Karen said...

Hi Mariela,
Thank you!! It must be the magic pastel dust!!

Anonymous said...

my biggest problem I use a grey scale.

Annie v.

Nick Miliokas said...

Re grey scale: That's not a problem, Annie V., it's a challenge.