Lakeville Road Blues - Working in Three Values to Create a Strong Painting - Sonoma County Painting - Petaluma Farm Painting - Landscape Painting - Art for the Home

 "Lakeville Road Blues" | 8"x10" | Oil on panel
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Before I start by preaching about how essential a value study can be at the start of a painting I would first like to admit that I have been known to skip this step and jump right into feeding my painting addiction in spite of knowing how important creating a value sketch can be and in spite of seeing positive results from taking that initial step. Instead I've often allowed the lure of color, lush paint and the call of my paintbrushes to lead me astray, blindly fumbling my way through, erasing things, changing elements or *gasp* just rolling with bad decisions.

This year however,  at the Sonoma Plein Air Festival I took the time to sketch. Sketching in three values kept the composition strong and clearly stated. Linking areas of similar value together into one larger value mass kept the overall concept focused as well.

Sketch for Lakeville Road Blues

It's easy to believe that detail, color and bold brushwork are the elements that make a dynamic representational painting happen, but just like a building, a painting is only as good as it's foundation. While this little 8"x10" plein air piece isn't a huge, epic, multi-figure narrative painting with chiaroscuro, it still did benefit from having a plan at the start.


Unknown said…
Thanks for sharing your process and lovely painting. So true that you can make a strong painting in 3 values. Sometimes we just need to be reminded.