The Power of Values (in color)

“Color value refers to the lightness or darkness of the hue. Adding white to a hue produces a high-value color, often called a tint. Adding black to a hue produces a low-value color, often called a shade”.

What a lot of good artists do, is testing their values first before the actual painting by making mini pieces. One of my all-time favorite artists; Marco Bucci does this all the time. He keeps it simple and quick, but he’s done it so much it’s stunning and looks to me like a beautifully finished piece already! His actual finished work is just that much better~

What I also found fascinating is one of Aaron Blaise’s courses on colors (taught by Ronnie Williford). He did a demonstration painting using only one color by mixing different values. 

(Painting by Ronnie Williford)

He did add a few tiny touches of light blue for highlights to make those pop, which is a great way to add another color and make it stand out. Red and blue are complementary colors, which means they are on opposite sides of the color wheel. Red and blue are also strong warm and cool colors, so complete opposites, but beautiful compliments. 

Here’s another painting I found online using only blue and the power of values:

(Done in watercolor, artist unknown)

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