Saturday, September 19, 2015

Value Underpaintings

5"x5" value under paintings on Canson Canvapaper

These three paintings were done in acrylic. It took about 15 minutes to paint each one. Look at the dark part of the trees on the left side of the top image. Can you see the two dots of purple? Squint, and look again. Can you still both of them? Those dots were made as I was mixing the darks for the trees and testing that it was the right value. When the dot is the right value, it disappears when you squint. This is the approach I take with my students. We work on value under paintings first, and then paint over them, in either oil or acrylic, using the under painting to help us find the appropriate values. Another benefit of under painting is that it can also show through in places, and since it's basically a complimentary color to the blue and green of most landscapes, it provides a pleasing contrast.


  1. Bobbi, thanks for the lesson! PLENTY for me to learn here. So much to bring into my ongoing daily painting.

  2. Such a great lesson in creating a dynamic painting! Love your work Bobbi!