Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Alternation Patterns

In this painting of a dock in Eastpoint, Florida, I concentrated more on values than color.  I used basically three values and alternated them.  I tried to place a dark value next to a midtone which is next to a light value.  This checkerboard effect is also enhanced by making some dark  shapes larger than others.  It is the midtones that hold the painting together while the darks and lights help cast your eyes around the surface of the painting. 

This technique is harder than it sounds and requires planning.  The first step is to establish the lights by painting the midtones.  The darks are then placed strategically so that the three values are contiguous.

Practice this technique a few times as an abstract design to get the hang of it.  Try leaving large whites, small darks, and anchoring midtones.  Then try midtones that isolate small whites alternated with darks.  Practice, practice, practice.

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