Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More about values by decision.

Below is a detail of the upper painting.

Probably this is larger than the actual painting. Below is a cropped version of the photo of the scene. The blown up photo shows far more detail than I could actually see with my aging eyesight. But that is not a problem. My goal was to simplify, summarize and group things into areas of values. As you can see I have made the entire building with the chimney a dark value and down played the value variations within it. Then I put the pier in front of it in a light value. I have written about "value stacking" before and this is an example of that. I am stacking a light valued thing on top of a dark one.

I nave also dropped the value of the sand. I wanted my white accents to tell and if I had a big area of white sand they would not. The water tower in the background lights up because I have kept the value of everything around it lower. If you want a high key note to show, you need to stack it onto a dark one.I am always looking for ways to get my darks against lights and my lights against the darks.

I also wanted to caution you about this sort of thing. I am showing some grad level technique here. I assume that you have the skills to portray the scene as it actually is. That is the basic skill and must be learned first. Until you have that ability it is best to play it straight and work on your chops until you do, rather than altering the scene as I have described.

16 comments:

mariandioguardi.com said...

Yup, its true...I take your virtuosity and master skills as a given. But this is beyond that and moves it into the tour de force category. I hope everyone appreciates what you are doing here.I remain impressed.

You reversed the values, man! In life(the photo shows)the shack is lighter and blends into the lit background noise. You decided to make the shack darker against the lit background jumble. Then the pier, in reality, is darker than the shack, but you made it lighter to be set off by the darker shack. On and on .. You got this to work in ways I am only beginning to get.

Plein Air Gal said...

Something else that you did that I see as key to how the piece reads to the viewer - you didn't just darken the value of the beach ... you also brought the tide in so that there is a different play of warm and cool as well as light and dark! Having the water there in front of the shack is much more appealing than such a large sandy area as in the photo.

Caroline Bray Art said...

I always love these posts you do, where you explain your decisions re design. It always fascinates me, I love learning your secrets! And it reminds me that design is something I need to pay more attention to. I've started adding random holes in my works and I'm thinking of moving onto blocking areas out (somewhat a la Justin Mortimer - check him out if you haven't already. Amazing artist, great portraits, painted the Queen, pictorially chopped her head off, lots of uproar. Fantastic stuff.) I'm going to need some good design sills to carry this off so I'll be following your words closely. No pressure... ;)

Re German art, turns out you don't need to go to Munich. I was at the NYC Guggenheim at the weekend and their Chaos and Classicism show is fantastic, laden with German art and all things neue sachlichkeit. Along with some wonderful French and Italian works, e.g. Picasso's neo classical nudes (a personal favourite) and Bertelli's amazing Continuous Profile of Mussolini. Dix's Der Krieg etchings are harrowing but worth marvelling at for the draughtmanship. I hope you manage to make it to the show at some point...it's a treat.

Mary Byrom said...

Again, nice post Stapleton. I have a technical question. I'm painting 24x 36 panels on location - I'd like to paint some scenes a distance from my car...best way to carry the large panel back to my car? I've got the Beauport, a knapsack & paint box - only one hand free to carry a large wet panel - and I don't have a sherpa with me...best solution?

Terry said...

Hey Stape, This is so cool!! I had to read the last two posts a couple of times and than "POP" I got it!! I have been looking for stacked values in the scenes I paint...I got that idea, this is a whole new level to "decide" to stack the values. You are stacking value with us! Getting us to understand the chops and than seductively giving us a peek behind the curtain of what we can do once we get there. Cool I am the sorcerer's apprentice! Terry

Judy P. said...

This post is so chock-full o'insight that it needs to be read repeatedly; I really appreciate this blog.
It was fun watching Ignat's demo, and spotting you and Moxie with those other big guns. Love those guys but Oh you Stape!

Deb said...

I'd like to know the answer to Mary's question too.. maybe we need to get a llama... but, he probably wouldn't fit in my trunk....

Frank Gardner said...

Good stuff Stape. I'm glad you added that part about getting your skills down first. You really do need to have the chops before you can take liberties like that. Otherwise you can get in trouble and the painting will just look amateurish.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Marian;
I did all of that. I also am smuggling red and gold.
.....................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Plein air....
The water was in and out while I was there. I can put water surf or water into a harbor scene as I need to.
...................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Caroline:
I am not likely to be in New York any time in the near future, But that does sound like a great show.
...............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Mary;
I have long arms. I hold one side of the panel against my hip and hook the other over the 24 side/. I get paint on my clothing, but I don't care about that.
...........STaspe

Stapleton Kearns said...

Terry.
I am useful!
...............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Judy;
What a demo that was, broadcast from a cell phone during a pirate party with questions coming in from the viewers answered in real time by Jerome Lipking.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Deb;
Have you ever tried putting a llama through a colander?
...............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Frank:
I stressed it again tonight too. It is so important and as I talk so much about designing bending arranging and transmogrifying the landscape I need to routinely pointy that out.
....................Stape