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  1. #1
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    Question on what Richard Schmid wrote in Alla Prima

    In Alla Prima, Richard wrote (and im paraphrasing)....."a 40 degree change in form can be shown with a simple color change rather than a value change." Why? Because we have more colors at our disposal than values..." So my question is: Any subtle changes in value within lights, halftones and darks can be indicated with just a shift in hue of the same value? I did notice it is extremely hard to capture many values with paint as opposed to a B+W medium like charcoal or graphite.

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    That's interesting.

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    Yeah i found that interesting too. I think I can finally just stick to no more than 5 values rather than trying to capture all 255 greys...lol

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    yer, i think as long as there is a perceived change in the subject it kind of pieces together. Implying more subtlety in the values. It's really to simplify your values to make a stronger composition. Also i think the hue change probably works best shifting towards the hue of the shadows.

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    If you look at most master paintings the values are limited to four or five steps so the way you turn the form in the lights or in the shadows is with hue or saturation shifts, saving the value shifts for big divisions between light and shadow

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  8. #6
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    but within those 4/5 steps (many master paintings as we know are very detailed) any other subtle value changes (assuming no glazing is done) are done by hue/temperature shift right? Oh wait just reread your post dpaint. ok i get it.

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    ok i get it.

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    Its not about details. Look at them in black and white and see how many places in the painting are the same Values. Good paintings start with good value plans color doesn't matter.

  11. #9
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    AHHHH..... Briggsy.....it seems that Scmid uses more than just 4-5 values as he claims. I see more in those b+w conversions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andymania View Post
    In Alla Prima, Richard wrote (and im paraphrasing)....."a 40 degree change in form can be shown with a simple color change rather than a value change." Why? Because we have more colors at our disposal than values..."
    I'd like to know the direct quote rather than your paraphrase, to see if that's actually what he says. The other thing is that, while it's a very good book, Schmid isn't always very precise in his color terminology. The fact is, changing "color" (that is to say, hue and/or chroma) without also changing value is very hard to do with an open palette like Schmid uses.

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    The values are much closer when you show them in grayscale. I just copied your image and changed the mode

  14. #12
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    andymania and dpaint

    I used a grayscale conversion plus some automatic segmentation software to make it easier to see where the tonal gradients are occurring. The gradients are there but the number of steps is arbitrary. The segmentation software also seems to have increased the absolute contrast, although much less than you might possibly think from close up - try looking at the last image from more than ten feet away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by briggsy@ashtons View Post
    andymania and dpaint

    I used a grayscale conversion plus some automatic segmentation software to make it easier to see where the tonal gradients are occurring. The gradients are there but the number of steps is arbitrary. The segmentation software also seems to have increased the absolute contrast, although much less than you might possibly think from close up - try looking at the last image from more than ten feet away.
    I am interested in that "automatic segmentation" software, can you tell me name of it?

    Thanks in advance

    M

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    Quote Originally Posted by MatejaPetkovic View Post
    I am interested in that "automatic segmentation" software, can you tell me name of it?

    Thanks in advance

    M
    Posterize does something quite similar, but I used an ancient Photoshop plugin called Mask Warrior.

    http://www.imagiam.com/index.php?opt...d=21&Itemid=58
    http://www.imagiam.com/index.php?opt...1&limitstart=1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    I'd like to know the direct quote rather than your paraphrase, to see if that's actually what he says. The other thing is that, while it's a very good book, Schmid isn't always very precise in his color terminology. The fact is, changing "color" (that is to say, hue and/or chroma) without also changing value is very hard to do with an open palette like Schmid uses.
    From the Values chapter, page 85-87:

    "Conservation of Values
    The Masters who maintained simple value patterns in their paintings seldom used more than five values (except in the transition zones and soft edged between shapes). You can see this dramatically in black and white reproductions of works by Howard Pyle, Serov, Vandyke, and others. They were stingy with the number of tones they used and never employed more than were necessary. In many of his portraits, Sargent usually employed only three values in the light, two in the darks, and then added some incidental highlights and dark accents.

    This economy or conservation of values is based on two ideas. The first is that a few clear-cut values in a painting will yield a more powerful visual effect (though not necessarily a more "artistic" one) than a profusion of small values. This is why Impressionistic painting, which as a rule pays little attention to strong value patterns, is not as effective in monochrome reproduction as it is in full color (Impressionism by its nature is concerned with other effects.)

    The second idea is that it is unnecessary to use all values in a subject. Color changes can frequently be used instead. This substitution of color for value is often not only more pleasing, but also makes better sense. Why? Because we have many more colors than values at our disposal, so using a color instead saves us a value. Superb examples of that use of color are found in the paintings of Mary Cassatt. She had the uncanny ability to portray form with almost no perceptible darkening-a feat impossible without color.

    Manet and Berthe Morisot were also good at that. They understood the weakness in overmodeling-the use of too many values to indicate form. They were careful to keep their designs strong by maintaining simple values-clearly establishing their major areas as belonging in either the light or the dark, and not invading those areas with needless or inappropriate values.

    Fortunately, we have an unlimited supply of colors and ways to use them. For example, in areas of gradual darkening caused by contours, a turn in the form on a subject of as much as 40 degrees can be shown with color changes alone before a change in value becomes necessary. My personal guideline is to always check if changing the color temperature of my mixtures will do the job before I change my values.

    Value relationships are certainly not all this cut and dried, and there is certainly room to make choices about emphasizing or restraining them to meet your artistic intentions, but keeping your values uncomplicated and few in number is a sound idea no matter what creative changes you do or do not make. It allows you to simplify the way you look at a subject and render it. I also believe-without question-that it is the basis of strong color and design."
    Last edited by BigJoe14; December 25th, 2009 at 11:59 AM.

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