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Adventure Series 1

Value and Idea Finding - Mountain Scene

Congratulations! You've finished the course!

Scott uses develops two alternative value compositions for a mountain scene.

9min 52sec
  • Learn to see 4 main values in a photograph.
  • Understand that values are 90% of the problems in painting. Values need to be clearly understood prior to color.

As review from the previous lesson, John F. Carlson's four planes are a guide to help you decipher the values you see in the landscape. Typically the:

  • Sky is the lightest plane.
  • Ground is the second lightest plane.
  • Angled plane is a darker plane.
  • Upright plane is the darkest plane.


In the examples in this episode, Scott maps the values (using value markers) to Carlson's four planes as follows:

  • Sky: value marker #2.
  • Ground: value marker #3.
  • Angled plane: value market #5.
  • Upright: value market #8.

Fine darks are usually not found in isolation. They typically are under a slanted plane or within an upright plane as dark accents.

Using one of your photographs from the "Finding Your Intentions" episode, select a photo that represents four clear planes: sky, ground plane, slanted plane, and upright (trees) in a simple format.

Apply Carlson's concept of the four value planes by creating similar value drawings with value markers. Simplify your shapes as needed.

  • Drawing Journal
  • Value Markers

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