Tuesday, December 27, 2016

White Dress

"White Dress", 14 x 11 In, Oil on Museum Board

I recently read a blog from another artist who said that value is more important than color and something in me wants to take exception to that. But I also would not contend the opposite. Value and color are like the senses of seeing and hearing, both aspects of the bigger whole. With color there are warms and cools, not dependent on value. And it would be interesting to know if the brain registers color differently than value. And what about other aspects of painting, such as brushwork, which could be related to value (the "rule" says keep darks thin), but is really something different--a matter of physical intention and emotion. In fact, I've never been able to think of one aspect of painting as being more important than another aspect, but maybe I am missing something, and so I am open to your thoughts--readers of my blog!



  1. Kathryn, Two ways to understand the relative importance of value to color is to (1) execute a painting without regard for the 'correct' color but with the goal of perfect value relationships. I think you will find that you are quite satisfied with the result nevertheless. Executing a painting based upon correct hue and random value will not be as satisfying for you or the viewer I predict. (2) If you have photoshop or comparable, take several of your paintings and convert to black and white or sepia toned and look at how satisfying they still seem. The value relationships are the same. Now revert back to original image and if the software can do this, play with the colors using only the outer edge of a color wheel. The grays should not be used as they are value adjustments. Now look at your paintings and I think you will find initial interest, but something unsatisfying about their appearance. Perhaps subjective, but two ways to explore the relative importance of value to color.

  2. I have always admired your values and the use of warm/cool relationships. To me it is the perfect combination.
    BUT...I have seen non-representational work which has moved my heart purely by color and edge work.