Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cast drawing and Values






So even if cast drawing is really, really difficult it really, really pays off in the end, hopefully. It helps train your eye to all the details and nuances of the form. It also helps you see the lights and darks, the values, in your subject. It is seeing these lights and darks that is the backbone of all picture making. It isn't color that is vitally important, unless you're looking at a stoplight and then its really important, but it's value, the lights and darks, that make things recognisable to the human eye. To see what I mean look at the three pictures. One is the picture as it was originally with both value and color, one is the picture with color and no value, and one with value and no color. The one without value is almost unrecognisable. The one with value, the black and white one, looks exactly like a tree and water. Even though we see in color, the fact that we also see in values is much more important.  A good way to begin  to see values in your subject is to squint as you are looking at it. Scrunch up your eyes, look through your lashes, and the color is reduced while the relative values remain. This actually works, although people will look at you funny. I was taught this technique by a very good artist as we were standing in a *very* upscale art museum. There we both stood like a couple of fools, smack dab in front of the Rodin statue our eyes reduced to slits, looking for values, while the other patrons made a wide detour around us. I've never felt so much like an artist in my life.

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