Values or: It’s cold and, look there’s my backyard.

Honestly I am not a fan of painting in NYC weather in February. I don’t think it’s an unusual stance. I think, most people would feel that way. But, I felt like painting and I have a set of windows that when I sit in my living room I can see the whole backyard. I chose to focus in on one panel of glass and caught my garden chairs and the pillar for the corrugated plastic awning . Don’t be fooled by the composition, it was a bit of an exercise in values. Values, values, values. It’s all about the values. They say, ” color gets all of the credit, but values do all of the work.”

In order to get the values right, I followed my own teaching and did a notan sketch first. Mapping out the values in three shades of grey and the white of the paper. It really does help. A lot. Why do I resist so?

Once the greys are in place, it actually frees me up to match colors to values and go wild. No my chairs are not eggplant, they are dark umber and the back trees are pines, certainly not cobalt turquoise.

I did both pieces in a Stillman and Birn Beta book; the color one in an 8″x10″ and the black and white in the smaller 5.5″x 8.5″. The grey is markers by Tombow and the watercolors are mostly Daniel Smith

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