ASSIGNMENT 09: ART 141 (Fall 2014)
Project Author: Deborah Randall
REDUCTIVE CONVERSION OF VALUE
Materials: pencil, 11” X 14” sheet of Bristol board, 4 inch paper frame, ruler, eraser, color copy of a linear painting with a value range from white to black with rich gradations of grey tones in-between.
Step 1: Take a trip to the library or go on line and choose a good color reproduction of a Renaissance painting or an historical painting that shows a range of values transitioning from dark to light. It should have a full value gradation from white (highlight) to black (shadow). Try to find a reproduction that is close to 8 1/2” x 11”. Paintings that have linear edges as opposed to painterly brushstrokes work well for this project. You can also print an image from the Internet as long as you can make a good color reproduction. You must have a GOOD color copy of the reproduction.
Step 2: Make a 4" x 4" viewing frame on a sheet of paper. Move the frame over the painting to find a 4” x 4” detail that has a value range from light to dark. Consider how you will crop the painting- you should include the most important subject matter and have a good composition.
Step 3: Using a pencil or pen, make a ½” grid on the color copy. Make an 8” x 8” square on your bristol board, and then a 1” grid within the square.
Step 4: Using gouache, convert the color image into a black, white and gray image using at least 7 values. I suggest painting in the white (highlight) and black areas first. Then make a value translation of all the other values in-between. Since you are reducing the value in your painting, you must make creative decisions about the simplification. You will lose contour edges where the dark value has continued from one object to the next. You will also loose detail in the painting. Sometimes the value of a color is confusing; it can be influenced by what surrounds it. Don’t be thrown by the intensity of a color. Use the value scale you created to compare to the colors in the painting. Learning to judge value can be difficult, but it is an important basic tool. Try squinting your eyes at the painting to help you see the value present. Think of this project as a puzzle; the best solution is one where you reduce the detail, but retain the value and integrity of the work. A viewer should identify your finished work as a study of the value passages in the painting. Be observant as possible, and take your time with the paint. Try swatches of color on scrap paper before you commit the paint to your design.