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Adventure Series 1

Finding Values in Your Palette

Congratulations! You've finished the course!

Scott uses a photo to paint a small gestural study that allows him to choose colors for that palette that will support further exploration.

8min 50sec

Understand the importance of values before color and then find the color.

There is strength in limited palette; such as red, yellow, blue, and white. You may not reach exact in color. Our real job is to represent what we see. We have to make choices based on relationships.

"We must not train our eyes to copy tone for tone but to think of the bearing of such colors and harmonies upon the main idea of our picture." -John Carlson, Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting

Select a photograph of a simple scene from your photograph library gathered in prior episodes.

Study the scene in color and black and white. Identify your value planes and assign values to the major planes. Do a simple value sketch and establish your middle value. After your middle value is established, add in your lights and darks.

Now, try to determine your color palette by mixing colors in each value. Try to limit your palette using three primaries and white to start.

Your goal isn't to paint exact colors from the scene. Rather, you need to choose the colors for your palette that will allow you to stay within your chosen value.

After you have your color palette determined with values, use your refined 10 line drawing of the same scene and paint a simple gesture painting.

Practice this as many times as you feel you need to.

  • Photograph Library
  • Painting Journal
  • Value Markers
  • Painting Supplies (Oil or Gouache)
  • Refined 10 Line Drawings from Previous Episodes
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