View Full Version : Value over colour priority?

01-15-2012, 04:49 PM
I've read and have found through my own work that colour is subordinate to value. In other words, when creating a painting, get the value right and play with colour for some effective and interesting paintings. It will still "read" well most likely...

What you say artist friends?:wave:

01-15-2012, 06:07 PM
Well hard to say, being self taught and no real art training, I just learned that Dark darks and Bright highlights along with moderate tones in between make it more 3D/realistic, and go with it... trial and error till I get the look I want. I mix as I go.
I'm sure there are others that mix ahead and paint those values/tones so I guess there will be alot of varieties of techniques and Views.
Not sure if I thats an answer your looking for or not.

01-15-2012, 07:19 PM
I agree. After several years of struggling, putting in more linear definition or "more color" to try to make a piece stronger, have found that if the values are correct, esp. if there is variation and good contrast, a painting will just "throw itself together" and will be convincing, without a lot of effort. Of course, becoming used to reading and painting values correctly - or at all - takes time and effort!
Nowadays I paint a full grisaille, and apply color over that. No matter what, even if I make mistakes and must correct them, I never really get "lost", as the strength of the grisaille supports the structure of the picture.

01-16-2012, 12:02 PM
Get the values right and everything else just falls into place.
I use a slightly warm monochome underpainting 3-5 values steps using raw umber.
When in the finishing stages for modeling texture and shape where the value doesn't change much I use a "dulled compliment" at the same value as the subject color. This gives the shape and makes the subject color "pop".


01-16-2012, 03:00 PM
Value is one dimension of colour so, value > colourfulness, although that sounds a bit awkward. So: value is more important than hue or chroma; yes, that's much better :cool:

If you take the value information only from an image you're left with something that still reads quite well in most cases (as B&W photography shows us).

If you take the value information out of an image on the other hand you can be left with something that's impossible to interpret; at best it's just very flat and odd-looking - who wants to make an image where shadows aren't darker? :)