Contrast - Why Value Packs a Wallop

Welcome Back to Another BobBlast!

This week's BobBlast covers three topics that are often misunderstood, sometimes forgotten and can be just plain bothersome! And they are one of the basics of art school...    VALUE   -   CONTRAST   -   LIGHT SOURCE

Why are these principles important to know when creating a painting? Value can establish the mood of the painting. Soft, gentle low-value tones can be romantic or quiet. On the other hand,  bright contrasting values can be dramatic, eye-popping or even harsh. 

Most artists are aware of the value scale - when I was in art school, one of the assignments was to make a value scale chart from ten to zero of all twelve colors from the standard color wheel. It took a week - but boy, did I learn the lesson about value!

Hint: Color right out of the paint tube is the darkest that color will ever be. On the value scale that is a #10. The color, when lighter reads from #10 to zero.
My demo is in black and white - It is the easiest example to use because of the high contrast. But remember, any color right out of the tube is still a #10. Yes, even yellow!

When I paint, I like to use Contrast - I like to lead the viewer's eye to the contrasting point on the painting - which can be a Value of #10 next to a midtone Value of #5 or a stark dramatic Value of #1. Contrast gives your painting punch, liveliness and dimensionality. 

Establishing your Light Source will also create dimension. In this BobBlast, I demo a ball, lit with a dramatic spotlight - lighting only one side of the ball and also shines on the back wall. You will hear me say "Dark Against Light, Dark Against Light" over and over again. Incorporating a light  source in your paintings will give focus, shape, dimension and a point of interest!

Practice Practice Practice!

To view more of my favorite art materials, go to my website and click on my "Studio Resource List" - you can download it as a PDF.

Thanks again for watching and telling your friends! All my BobBlasts are archived on my website and my YouTube Channel. We post new studio tips weekly that offer real content, substance and useful techniques that work for me. And they're free!  We appreciate your interest, questions, comments and support!

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Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
February 4-8, 2018
Donna Downey Studios
Huntersville, NC 28078
Contact Bill Downey, (704) 948-4627 or

Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
February 18-21, 2018  
The Studios at Key West
Key West, Florida
Contact Erin Stover-Sickmen, Artistic Director or call (305) 296-0458

Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
March 9-11, 2018
Art Box Studio
1302 Monte Vista, Unit 9, Upland, CA
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Robert Burridge 5-Day Instructional Studio Workshop
March 26-30, 2018
Bob's Arroyo Grande, CA Studio  (Wednesday-Sunday)
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Click  HERE  to view  BobBlast Issue 185
"Contrast - Why Value Packs a Wallop"

Value Packs a Wallop

Love, Peace & Happiness,
Robert Burridge

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