Monday, April 18, 2011
Portrait Demo by Louis Smith
As I checked out the blog posts that I belong to, I came across a teacher and portrait painter, Louis Smith, that was noteworthy. Painting in a gray scale is difficult but a valuable exercise in learning about values. I have been on a quest these past couple of weeks to understand the word halftone and understand how to use it with skill. After much reading and a reference about John Singer Sargent's paintings having basically two values, I plowed into anything to do with halftones. I can't say that I totally understand but I know more now than I did before. I do know that too many values in a painting is, as C.W. Mundy said, like fingernails on a chalkboard. More than that, too many values make for a weaker painting. Value studies and notans help in preplanning a painting and to control the values. Looking at Smith's demonstration, I see at least five different values in the face and hair. My struggle is in understanding this concept---how should I collapse these values into two or three stronger values? I am tempted to use all five! Your comments are welcome.