(I’m talking about values in art, not finance or morals!)
For this post, it would be good to look up value, form and grey day painting in Artful Definitions.
I tend to have almost the full value range (from practically black to almost white) in my paintings. It’s what comes naturally for me. Other painters may instinctively paint with a lighter palette and not go near the very darks. Still others stay in a narrow value range of medium tones with very few extreme lights or darks.
Being able to change what comes naturally (when it comes to values) is a new concept for me, one introduced by the Peggi Kroll Roberts workshop. Peggi gave me a way to lighten and tighten my value range.
It works sort of like a musician playing a piece a couple of octaves higher. It’s the same song but it sounds different. Lighten values, and it may be the same subject but it will look and feel different.
In Peggi’s technique, basically you start with a mid-value color as the darkest dark in one’s painting. To create form in the dark passages, you use color shifts rather than value shifts.
The above painting was done in the workshop and has no value darker than mid range.
Next time I’ll explore why controlling value in this way is a very good thing.