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Old 12-06-2002, 01:16 PM   #21
Michael Fournier Michael Fournier is offline
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Marvin, that is always my goal also but just what does a soul look like anyway?

On a side note to Marvin: I picked a heck of a day to be in NYC. My drive home in the snow was real fun. You would think that snow was some new kind of weather phenomenon by how unprepared many are for driving in it.

News flash if you are in the Northeastern U.S. in the winter. It can snow here so maybe snow tires and a little care on slippery roads might be advisable. To you SUV owners: you cannot stop any faster than a 2WD vehicle so SLOW DOWN!

Sorry, I am still a bit frazzled from my drive yesterday.
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Old 12-13-2002, 12:34 AM   #22
Joan Breckwoldt Joan Breckwoldt is offline
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Massing values


Thank you for taking the time to explain about the value massing. The paintings you posted were especially helpful.

I can see how the three values are massed in the portrait of the gentleman. With the portrait of the couple though, there is some dark between the two light heads. I can see how the light values are generally massed together.

On your beautiful portrait of Lin though, I don't see how the light dog is massed with the rest of the light values in that portrait. Am I missing something? Perhaps 'massing' doesn't exactly mean touching, but there does seem to be a lot of dark between the dog and Lin.

I often read about the pitfalls of the 'floating bow', I suppose that's when you have a light bow that is not massed together with a light face? (Assuming dark hair). Is that the reason to watch out for the 'floating bow'?

Thank you for all the information you share on this forum!

Joan Breckwoldt
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Old 12-13-2002, 12:46 AM   #23
Peggy Baumgaertner Peggy Baumgaertner is offline
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Value massing does not necessarily mean all the same values need to be touching, it means that within a value mass, i.e., the dog, all of the values in that dog are light values. No bouncing around with a dark shadow under his chin, or middle value swirlies on his fur. All of the modeling and definitions are carried out in the value mass you've designated for that area.

The floating bow, I see as an atmospheric problem. The bow is usually further back on the head, and will not have the same high definition and bright color as something closer to the viewer, like the subject's nose. I could still be a light value, but the edges would be softer and more atmospheric.

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Old 12-13-2002, 12:57 AM   #24
Joan Breckwoldt Joan Breckwoldt is offline
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idea Ah-ha!


Ah-ha! Now I understand. I was under the impression that the ENTIRE painting should have only three masses. I will have to study some paintings, as you suggested, to let all this sink in.

Thank you Peggy,
Joan Breckwoldt
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Old 08-23-2006, 09:36 AM   #25
Steven Sweeney Steven Sweeney is offline
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Almost four years old, this thread is so chock-full of essential fundamentals (an oxymoron, I suppose) that it deserved to be escorted back up to the head of the line for close examination by many members and guests who may not have had the good fortune of discovering it in the archives.
Steven Sweeney

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Old 08-23-2006, 11:02 AM   #26
Julie Deane Julie Deane is offline
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Thanks for resurrecting this, Steve. I remember printing this out, but haven't seen it in a while.
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Old 08-24-2006, 04:51 AM   #27
Cynthia Daniel Cynthia Daniel is offline
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I've made this thread "sticky," which means it stays at the top all the time.
Cynthia Daniel, Owner of Forum & Stroke of Genius

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Old 01-29-2007, 04:25 PM   #28
Lon Haverly Lon Haverly is offline
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I once listed these seven tips for good sketching. They were ending notes from a video presentation of four seven minutes sketches.

1. Set limits. A good drawing is often achieved more by its limits than its excesses. A sketch that takes ten minutes can be better than one that takes ten hours.

2. Follow a good procedure. If you know where to start and where to finish and every step in between, you will free your mind to focus on style and technique.

3. Maximize your tool. A good chiseled point will help you maximize your style, speed and expression. If your lines are good, your drawing will be good.

4. Have fun! Let it rip! The enjoyment will show in your work.

5. Let more of yourself show in your work. Don't just focus on the form and the subject. A good drawing will have some of you in it. Don't smear away all your lines, or strokes.

6. Don't overwork it. Know when to quit. Don't fall into the bottomless pit of detail.

7. Trick the mind. A good drawing tricks the mind into stepping down from its higher critique. This is true especially of portraiture, A slightly impressionistic drawing, drawn correctly, will entertain the mind rather than belabor it.
Lon Haverly www.lonhaverly.com
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:18 AM   #29
Celeste McCall Celeste McCall is offline
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thumbs up Value massing

Charles Reid's book talks about value massing also. This concept also fits within and is based upon Edgar Whitney's value pattern theory in which he states that there are only 7 basic value patterns in all fine art of the great masterworks.
Charles Sovek also explained this as something which John Singer Sargent employed in his work. He called this a 'statement of values' in which each value shape remains unadulterated by high contrasts within them.

It is online at:


Value patterns which are not kept unadulterated will become what Tony Couch calls "checkerboard animation'. I call it a 'wallpaper' pattern/design. The large value shapes are chopped up and, as most already know, larger shapes make a stronger statement and are more instantly 'readable' as Harley Brown talks about in his book (Eternal Truths).

I do know that these are only one way to paint . Charles Sovek's also wrote:

"But my teacher wisely delivered a short but eloquent dissertation that I eventually dubbed, "How I learned to look at a Sargent without wanting to paint like him." The reason for this caution is not because Sargent wasn't a superb artist, but because his paintings appear so easily executed. It's all too easy to get mesmerized with the technique, toss aside all other approaches and concentrate solely on duplicating Sargent's surface mannerisms. When this happens, you risk not only losing your own identity as a painter, but also miss the essence of why Sargent's paintings are so successful."

I really appreciate this discussion Peggy as it is what we teach as a whole lesson on the 'statement of values' and unadulterated value patterns in our International Porcelain Artist Certification- Advanced Master Artist and Teacher lessons.

IPAT,inc. President and Editor of the International Porcelain Artist magazine
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