Thursday, January 24, 2013


through the red plexiglass
To help me evaluate how a painting is working, I sometimes use a value tool called a "Color Evaluator." (Click on the name for a link to one source for this product, but I'm sure your local fabric store has something similar on the shelf.) Designed for quilters, the tool is a set of one green and one red piece of plexiglass. When I hold the plexiglass up to my eye and look through it to view my painting, I can see how my values are working. The only trouble with this is that the color of the plexi affects the read on the same color in the painting. That is, the red plexi tends to cancel out the red in the painting. The green plexi cancels out the green.

through the green plexiglass
Notice how the red in the painting disappears in the top photo where I used the red plexiglass. With the green plexiglass, the red becomes visible but the green fades.

So what? By looking at the painting through both colors of plexiglass, I get a sense of how the values are working, or not working. I decided that this painting had adequate darks and mid-tones, but was lacking the lightest lights.

"Something I Said?" 22 x 30, acrylic on paper
I added some very light areas in the apron of the figure on the right and I was more satisfied with the value range of the painting.

There is a saying that I hear often among artists:

"Value does the work and color gets the credit."

Not a bad idea to check the values. I do.

"Something Stupid."


Sergio DS said...

This suggestion isn´t stupid at all, thank you.

Ralph said...

Whatever you are doing it is certainly working for you.