Baleful Values


Lest my last post made you think I was a master of values, I give you this little number – a value nightmare from beginning to end. The scene caught my eye because of the light that was spotting on the hay bales. This, of course, disappeared after about 5 minutes, leaving me with a picture in my head my painting was doomed never to live up to. I knew that the shadowed area of the hay must be darker in value than the highlight, but I also distinctly remembered the highlight being a colorful yellow orange. What was in front of me was a completely shadowed bale, but considerably lighter than the trees behind it and growing even lighter still as it rounded the top edge. But if I made the orangey bits as saturated as I remembered them, they ended up equal in value with the shadows. Making the shadows darker went against what I was actually seeing in front of me. In the end I compromised on both ends, but it infuriates me that I couldn’t figure it out. Oh well, maybe I’ll take a picture next time and let Photoshop tell me what the values really were.


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