Black and White Reinforces Importance of Value

drawing of after the storm
Acrylic Painting

Values in Charcoal

Black and white no matter if it’s paint, pencil or charcoal reinforces the need for variety in values.  Too much of one value makes for a dull and flat drawing, not only among the objects in the sketch but also to give realism and form to the objects.

Drawing 1:  This was just a fast sketch but it shows the lack of depth because there is very little variety in the values from dark to light.  


Winter in the Okanaga sketch
Not much depth or value difference

Drawing 2: This drawing has a complete set of values to make it interesting and realistic. The objects in the drawing have some form.

drawing of after the storm
Objects have form because of values








A Value Chart:

The chart shows the range of values for black and white art. Someone described the lack of value to the lack of a tune for music. Value in art makes us see or understand the objects in the picture. Value is true for color as well.

Paintings A, B and C:

Painting A has limited values yet in Painting B in black and white shows very dark to some lighter areas in the back and the front.  In Painting C the values were lightened to show a more flat image yet you can still see the light in the background and dark under the leaves and the tree trunks.  Values separate and defines objects and gives the trees form.  Therefore, a variety of value makes interesting art.  Painting B would ideally have some lighter values to really pop the light in the background.  Painting D ideally would have some darker values to pop it. If you convert your paintings to black and white you should see this more clearly.
Forest Glen Bush

A nostalgic painting about milk delivery and cats
Acrylic Painting
Dundas 49 1/2 Auction 2020

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Acrylic Painting
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The Forest - a monoprint
Acrylic Painting
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I remember being told that to be a successful artist you need to develop a style and stick to it.  This means painting the same thing over and over again.  That may be fine for commercial artists who find a niche and then sell that idea exclusively.  To me, part …