1st Background steps to a value #5

HOW I CREATE WITH MY “COLORED UMBER” LAYERS: PART TWO THE BACKGROUND

Once I have secured my design with the Trapping steps, I then need to add to my VALUE REGISTER so that I can control the values of my “Colored Umber” layers. I love to paint on the Ampersand clayboard surfaces as they are most like the surfaces that the early Flemish used. When this surface is sealed it is no longer white but picks up a warmer cast and drops in value to around a #9.5. That is my first given value. Drama is most easily produced with a darker value background, so the next thing I usually do is to BEGIN to drop my background value to around a value #5.

This is the standard MIDDLE value and is usually considered to be a NEUTRAL value. Once this is accomplished, I then will have better control on just what a value #9, #8, #7 and value #6 should look like. When my color washes on my items and my background seem to merge together, I know that it is then time to move my background down to around a value #3. In my mind, I am using my background as the STAGE for my paintings and my items as  the ACTORS in my play. They are the items that the LIGHT  will focus on, not my background.

The first background layer waiting to dull so it can be softened

First area softened and next area applied and waiting for shine to dull

The first background softened

 

2nd Background layer to achieve a value #5

Now this composition is ready to begin the transparent “Colored Umber” layers on the items in the design. I know what a value #5 looks like and what a value #9.5 looks like. So it is time to apply my first washes at a value #9 or #8.5 as I begin my journey down the value scale.

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One thought on “HOW I CREATE WITH MY “COLORED UMBER” LAYERS: PART TWO THE BACKGROUND”

  1. Im excited about your web site. The pictures and instructions are wonderful. Much clearer than my notes. They really help to reinforce what we hear in class. Thanks for the links, it makes locating supplies so much easier.

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