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Re: value


From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Oct 02 2002 - 05:46:32 PDT

Subject: From: Betty Bowen <>
>The author then painted pictures using those four plans.
> I think I may try this, I think it will help my kids see value in a
> more useful way than the series of ten or twelve grays.

Odd as it may sound, I have dealings one or two times per week on with artists about "tonalists" and those such as myself more
commonly referred to as "colorists"
When the talk has a negative tone to it, one...artists are insisting that
colorists and all artists simply would not be able to make the necessary
darks they need without the use of black. Of course, I encourage them to
check out my own personal website and my plein airs or instudio landscape
oils and have them tell me which one does not have dark enough values for
them and would improve with the use of black?

Unfortunately some artists have developed without the ability to recognize
color as value. The debate and talk reveals that all the time. It would be
near impossible of course to render form and depth if color did not carry a
value property. Sure, we increase the illusion with the fact that warm
colors come forward, and cool go back... but not wanting my students to be
one of those confused someday...I help them make the connection.

I think it might be because traditionally as art teachers when we talk about
values we pull out the white and the black and do these scales. Most know
that with the limited amount of time to us with these students in four years
of high school....we aren't going to be able to really get into any depth
with color theory. Warm and cool color understanding simplifies this
process. However..I simply encourage that it be impressed upon the students
that a "gray" made from white and black is simply ONE form of a gray.
Complimentaries from colors with white as a tinting power makes numerous
grays. In that way...the idea of light and dark "COLORS" AS VALUES might be
understood as well.

Larry Seiler
My website, featuring both my artistic and musical personalities-

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!"
Edgar Degas