Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tip on acheiving VALUE balance in your art

grayscale posturized image vs full color image

Many paintings fail due to poor value balance.

If a painting is nearly all one value, it will lack life even if it is correct compositionally.

A way to see value is to:
  1. Open image in photoshop
  2. At the top of the screen select: Image/mode/grayscale
  3. At the top of the screen select: Image/adjustments/posturize
  4. set for around "5"
  5. with experimentation of the numbers in step #3 and 4 you can see that the higher the setting the more detail shows up.
  6. the idea is to not have the detail and only see larger shapes of value (light and dark).

As a pre-painting step - run your image through this process and then reference the resulting print-out to make sure you preserve proper values as you paint.

You can also take a photo of a completed painting and run it through this process to see if you have the needed value balance within the piece.

If you posturize a color image it can assist you in discovering subtle colors or give you coloration ideas to add to your painting!