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Old 12-04-2002, 11:47 AM   #11
Timothy C. Tyler Timothy C. Tyler is offline
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Simplify




Apart from the compositional things mentioned, once you have posed your subject and lighted it nicely, most of the other things will take care of themselves if you paint very faithfully from your subject.
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Old 12-04-2002, 01:14 PM   #12
Julianne Lowman Julianne Lowman is offline
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Exactly what I was seeking!

It never ceases to amaze me how much information can be gleaned from this site!

Yes, Beth, I've already printed out and placed on my studio wall the details contained in this thread! I was truly seeking a list of items (a checklist if you will) I could compare my final painting to as well as works in progress.

My sincerest gratitude to those of you willing to share your insights, talents and knowledge with all of us! Especially to those posting examples or clarifying your concepts. I know that many ideas are easier to "show" than to "tell", so thank you for taking the time to write it all down.

Peggy, how do you know when the darkest light is not really the lightest middle value? Or the darkest middle value is the lightest dark?
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Old 12-04-2002, 02:49 PM   #13
Peggy Baumgaertner Peggy Baumgaertner is offline
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Quote:
Peggy, how do you know when the darkest light is not really the lightest middle value? Or the darkest middle value is the lightest dark?
Julianne,

You ask some great questions! This takes me to one of the most exciting aspects of the three value massing principle: how to control the composition of the painting based on the decisions you make on how to label the "fuzzy middle" in those "...is it a dark light or a light middle value" questions.

I don't have time to do another essay. I'm leaving town tomorrow for a few days. I would be glad to go into it with pictures upon my return.

Basically the principle is this: the definite light values, definite middle values, and definite dark values are all massed together. You can't make a middle value a dark value if it is not.

However, on the questionable values, "...is the shadow on a white shirt a light value or a middle value?", you can see if you like the composition better if the shirt shadow becomes part of the light value mass, or if you like it better if it is part of the middle value mass. If you decide it is part of the light value mass, you need to make sure it unquestionably belongs with the light massing. If this means that you need to make it a little lighter to mass in, this is what you must do. No fuzzy middles. Only three values.

This is where the strength of any painting comes in (re. Michael Georges comments....strong paintings are based on strong decision making.)

It's better to make one big mistake than to make many little wimpy mistakes. You can see a big mistake; the little mistakes just slide by and weaken the painting.

Peggy
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Old 12-05-2002, 01:05 AM   #14
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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The dirty dozen

Since it has been recently demonstrated that I have trouble counting to ten, I give you my list of my top twelve elements necessary to create a successful portrait.

In no particular order they are:

1. Proper planning

2. A strong design

3. Facility with one's chosen medium

4. Understanding of modeling and structure

5. Good drawing

6. Mastery of edge handling

7. A love of your subject

8. Understanding of atmospheric perspective

9. Good reference material

10. Proper lighting setup

11. An adequate amount of time

12. Unity
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Old 12-05-2002, 10:31 AM   #15
Elizabeth Schott Elizabeth Schott is offline
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Great Marvin! Now I have to print it out and blow it up again!
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Old 12-05-2002, 10:38 AM   #16
Renee Price Renee Price is offline
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thumbs up

This is a wonderful thread! Thank you Peggy for such a comprehensive explanation of value massing. These observations and techniques were not taught in my college classes. Could someone explain tangents a little more? I've read the term in other posts, but I'm not sure how it relates to a painting.

Forever in the debt of the experts of this Forum,
Renee Price
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Old 12-05-2002, 01:16 PM   #17
Jean Kelly Jean Kelly is offline
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Thank you all

Julianne, you started an incredible thread. This is concise and to the point. Much valuable information in one location!

Jean
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Old 12-05-2002, 11:39 PM   #18
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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Marvin, I particularly appreciate Number 7. "A love of your subject".

Sometimes it's too easy to get wrapped up in the surfaces I'm rendering and forget the feeling!
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Old 12-06-2002, 12:23 AM   #19
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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My credo

When I do a portrait, I start with the soul and paint a person around it.
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Old 12-06-2002, 03:05 AM   #20
Lon Haverly Lon Haverly is offline
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10. Paper
9. Stick of charcoal
9. Eraser (Oops, I already did 9)
7. Coffee
6. A customer (that should be number 1)
5. A light
4. Two chairs (does that count as two?)
3. Drawing table
2. More coffee
1. Pay!
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