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Old 05-22-2019, 04:02 PM
DamenFaltor DamenFaltor is offline
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Values and edges....?

If this is the wrong place to post this, please let me know and I will put it in the proper forum.

I am ever learning - and am struggling with the basics of Value - specifically with how to see values in real life. While listening to a tutorial, the instructor showed a photograph of a cliff where the face of the cliff was facing away from the light, and thus the face was in a deep shadow. The cliff face had a rounded top instead of a sheer vertical drop. This made the shape of the shaded face and the top have a completely lost edge (or at the least a very very very soft edge).

He said "This has a very soft edge, so that tells me that this shadow and the top of the cliff are very close in value"

Would you say that this is a true statement? is a soft / lost edge a clue as to the value relationships between shapes?
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:04 PM
Richard P Richard P is online now
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Re: Values and edges....?

Yes that's right. Our eyes perceive an edge as the difference in value between two areas. So a soft edge means the values are close together. Either in the two areas next to each other, or in the transition area between the two areas.
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Old 05-22-2019, 04:49 PM
DamenFaltor DamenFaltor is offline
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Re: Values and edges....?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard P
Yes that's right. Our eyes perceive an edge as the difference in value between two areas. So a soft edge means the values are close together. Either in the two areas next to each other, or in the transition area between the two areas.

So it would be safe to establish a rule such as :

The harder the edge, the further away on the scale the values are
AND
The softer the edge, the closer together on the scale the values are

?
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:56 PM
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Patrick1 Patrick1 is offline
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Re: Values and edges....?

IMO, making edges less hard and contrasty (as opposed to distinct 'stay inside/outside the lines' coloring) is a step that takes you out of the beginner level. Even when the delineation between two adjacent objects or colors really is a hard edge, painting it with reduced contrast (using more or less of a subtractive or additive midway color for the transition) is often visually nicer.
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Old 05-24-2019, 04:59 PM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: Values and edges....?

Generally, it is appropriate to create soft edges in paintings. Because I always had trouble deciding just where to put soft edges in my work, I once asked someone on Wet Canvas to explain their rationale for placing soft edges in the locations they did in their paintings.

The answer was that soft edges could be appropriately placed in nearly any area where there were "shared values". That means that wherever there are either light values abutting one another, or darks values abutting one another, you could effectively, and appropriately place soft edges.

Soft edges can also be placed at the edges of any subjects that seem to be "turning" toward the background. That means that even if the background is dark, and the subject is light, you can create a soft edge wherever the two meet, appropriately.

However, I have often seen a portrait painter purposely smear the tip of a nose into an adjacent cheek of the subject, and that operation STILL puzzles me, because the painter seems to have no true, reason for doing so, and can offer none, other than to make the painted subject appear to be "spontaneous", or "flamboyant", and they can't seem to offer an explanation of their actions.

Other than those two reasons, I have no explanation regarding just why that sort of a flippant softening of an edge is considered an appropriate thing to do.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:04 PM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: Values and edges....?

So far, I've only mentioned edges that occur on the subject that is the center of interest. It is also appropriate to create soft edges for objects that are part of the background, or that recede into the distance, as in a landscape. Bushes, trees, and mountains in the distance always have softer edges than objects that are up-front, and the center of interest.

And, the out-of-focus appearance of relatively close objects that are not the center of interest is an effect that is often created by a camera, often known as depth-of-field. The effect is also known as "bokeh".

This is also a very legitimate reason for creating soft edges. It can often be misconstrued as a "camera effect", when created in a painting, but it is an effect that seems to be appropriate quite often, even when accomplished in a painting.

But, heck......you may not want to take my word for any of this. I am ALWAYS being accused of creating hard edges on too many of my subjects. Although I actually AM quite aware of the various edge requirements, but I often experience difficulty in creating such effects. (Especially for such effects as the smeared nose into the cheek, as I mentioned in my previous post, primarily because it seems to be done for no apparent, logical reason.)
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Last edited by WFMartin : 05-28-2019 at 06:12 PM.
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