Beginner Acrylic Painting - Understanding Value | Linda Celestian | Skillshare

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Beginner Acrylic Painting - Understanding Value

teacher avatar Linda Celestian, Learning to paint is fun

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (13m)
    • 1. Understanding Value Introduction

    • 2. Understanding Value Setting Up

    • 3. Understanding Value Mixing Colors

    • 4. Understanding Value Painting

    • 5. Understanding Value Wrap Up

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About This Class


In this class I break down what value is and why it's so important to understand when painting. Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. Understanding value helps you paint objects 3 dimensionally and illustrate space in a composition.

Meet Your Teacher

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Linda Celestian

Learning to paint is fun


I'm a fine artist and a teacher. I've been painting for 30 years and teaching for 15 years. Life is short but you can keep it fun by trying new things.

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1. Understanding Value Introduction: Hi, I'm Linda Celestine. I'm an artist and a teacher. In this class, I'm going to teach you about value. Value is the lightness or darkness of a color value, I think, is the most important thing that you need to know when you're painting value is what creates three dimensional objects, and it's what creates depth in a composition. So I realized this when I was at one of my shows of my abstract paintings, and somebody asked me, How do you create the illusion that something's coming towards you? And I started to describe how I mixed three colors in three different values and paint them next to each other. So I realized that this is exactly what I teach my beginner painting students when I teach them how to paint a box. And once you set this box up under a direct light, you're going to see three values. So that's why it's important to go ahead and follow this project and you will understand value and it will help you in all your paintings. Thanks for joining 2. Understanding Value Setting Up: Here's my set up that I used to make this painting of a box. I used tissue boxes and construction paper to make my own props, but you're also welcome to free sprain the video and paint from the box that I paint from. If you want to make your own prop, I use a tissue box and some construction paper. And since I hate venturing, I just traced the tissue box. Cut the pieces to size and tape, or glue them to the tissue box. Spray mount or techie glue probably works better than taping because you're gonna want to see the edges close together so you can see the different values. Here's my box set up on white poster board, and I'm using a clip like clipped to the back of a chair. The next step is to sketch the box on your painting surface on painting on £80 drawing paper and sketching with a pencil. I start by drawing three parallel vertical lines here. I'm using the edge of my paper just to check some of my measurements. The horizontal lines are converging, so they're not pair of parallel and they're not diverging on. I check this angle by just throwing a straight line under the box and I can check my measurements again with the edge of the paper here. The next step is to put the top on the box, and once again, these lines need to be converging, not diverging. So a common mistake is to have that point be a little too high. So I pull it down and then it looks like it's drawn with correct perspective. Now I'm just making an adjustment on the proportions of box. After I draw the shadow, my sketches completely ready to start painting. 3. Understanding Value Mixing Colors: I start by laying out my colors at the top of my palette paper. I'm using two reds here. Canyon Red, Medium and Conacher didn't read amusing ultra marine blue and cadmium yellow media. In my first video, How to paint a Green Apple. I go into depth about supplies, what kinds of paint to buy and the different colors. So if you need that information, you want to check out that video. Um, this is titanium white, and then I used Matt, Medium acrylic Matt medium with a little bit of retard or mixed in. I had a little bit of this to my paints as a mixing them. It keeps the paint fluid and also keeps it from drying out too quickly. The first step is to mix the color of the box. In my case, it's red mixing these two reds together, and then I'm actually going to dull this color down to match the color of the construction paper of my body. To make a color dollar, you mix the complementary color. The complementary color of red is green, so I'm taking my ultra marine blue and cadmium yellow medium and mixing them together. I take equal amounts of these two colors to make green. I just take a little bit of that green and mix it in with the red to dull the color down. When I'm satisfied with the color I've mixed, I separated into three piles. First, I'll mix the light value. It's called a tent, and it's mixed with white. I grab some of the mat medium and retarded of Nixon to I'm gonna mix that into my first color to make sure my paint doesn't dry up. Now I'm gonna test my colors. I just put a little bit on the strip of paper. This is the first color I mixed the color of the box. Then I'll put the tent next to it, so I'm trying to see if I mixed the color correctly. If it's light enough to show a difference, it doesn't look it so I add more white. So now I will test that color again, painting it right next to the color of the box. I think that looks better, so I want to make sure I wipe that off my palette knife because you don't want wait in your dark. So now you take just a little bit of green and mix it in. Same thing. You don't want to go too far. So you just start with a little bit. This is called a tone. To make a tone, you use the complementary color, which in this case is green. Okay, When I get that mixed, then I'm gonna test that color next to the color of the box to make sure that it's dark enough. I think it looks good. 4. Understanding Value Painting: first you wanna look at the box and noticed the three values. The one that's the medium value is the 1st 1 we mixed in this lading situation. It's the top of the box. I'm using a round brush, and my technique is to put the brush down where I want to start and then drag it towards me . So I start in a corner and then drag it along the line to make a smooth line. Make sure you use enough paint so that the white of the paper doesn't show through. Sometimes it means a second coat. I wash and dry my brush before I go to the next color. Next, I paint the side that's facing the light, and I'm using the color that's mixed with White called the Tent. - Now I'll wash my brush and dry it because we don't want any white mixed in with this tone that we've mixed in will paint the last sign, the sign of the box that's facing away from the light. - Now we're gonna mix a color for the shadow. I always like to use the colors that I already have on the palate. No mixing the color for the shadow on a white background. I'm trying to mix. A neutral gray gray is made with two complementary colors, which we already have red and green. As I was mixing this, I noticed that it needed to be made a little bit darker. So I added some more blue to the green. Here. When I get a color I like. I keep some of it and move some to be mixed with white, to make different values of this great to be used as the shadow. So here I'm mixing 1/3 value mixed with more weight. The first color I mixed will be used right under the object closest to the object. This is where there's no light on you get the darkest shadow. Then I take the next lighter value and continue to paint the shadow as it moves away from the object gets lighter and lighter. Now I'm just going back and fixing up some of the transitions between the values 5. Understanding Value Wrap Up: Hi, it's Linda. Thanks for taking my class on understanding value. I hope you enjoyed it. Please upload your projects. I would love to see your paintings. I have two other classes that you might be interested in now that you understand how to paint value, um, painting a green apple and painting landscapes. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments. I'll be happy to answer any questions you have about supplies. And if you have any suggestions of things you'd like to see me teach Thanks for joining me . Happy painting.