Special Little Challenges

"Dordogne Pastures"
watercolor on paper, 11" x 15"

In teaching folks to paint, one of my most sacred lessons is about value structure and value sketching. Lights, Darks and Mediums . . . .putting them together in a desirable ratio . . .arranging contrasts and laying together an interesting abstraction of light and dark shapes. That's all there is to it. Riiiiiiight! This concept is, ofr some reason, extremely difficult for most people to grasp. The idea is to arrange the values, then essentially go and paint how ever the painter wishes . . . . . .because it usually is not the color that makes a painting work, but the value structure.

After a few days of wrestling with values, a challenge was brought forward to paint our very green landscape without using green. Of course, this turns most people's minds upside down, but it really does show the power of a strong value design.

Here is a little watercolor sketch done without greens in about 15 minutes to answer the challenge.

Today, now that my jet lag is settling down, I am going to the studio and opening up my oil paints again. After all, I have a goal to meet; 100 paintings by Sept 1. I have some 20 to go. Gotta git er done!

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