Oil Painting for Beginners - Value & Form | Rachael Broadwell | Skillshare

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Oil Painting for Beginners - Value & Form

teacher avatar Rachael Broadwell, Fine Arts Teacher

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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

12 Lessons (55m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:00
    • 2. The Value of Value Studies!

      2:27
    • 3. Demo 1 - Overview

      7:02
    • 4. Demo 1 - Block-In

      5:14
    • 5. Demo 1 - Intermediate Values

      5:11
    • 6. Demo 1 - Final Adjustments

      6:22
    • 7. Demo 2 - Overview

      5:11
    • 8. Demo 2 - Block-In

      4:09
    • 9. Demo 2 - Intermediate Values

      5:50
    • 10. Demo 2 - Texture & Details

      5:05
    • 11. Demo 2 - Final Adjustments

      5:39
    • 12. Final Thoughts

      0:38
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About This Class

In this course, we will take a more thorough look atĀ using value to create a sense of form. Value is the backbone of great painting, but often our perception is distorted by color.. A value study enables the student to focus on value, form, and detail without the complications of color. If you've taken my course on Poster Studies, you'll recall that poster studies help you to simplify a subject and quickly explore compositional options. The value study begins much the same as a poster study, but it goes much further in exploring form. With a value study, you may choose to blend your values, leave your strokes defined, or a combination of both. You can include as much or as little detail as you'd like.Ā 

It's important to do value studies with reference that are in color. You will begin to train your eyes and brain to see the true value of colors and this will be greatly beneficial as you move toward color works. So don't convert your photo reference to black and white! Squint your eyes so that the color information is lessened and you can only see a blurry, abstract scene of value patterns.

Feel free to use the reference photos I've attached to this course! If you'd like a drawing template of the mug, it is also attached, You may print it and transfer it to your painting surface (this process is detailed in my course on Poster Studies).

Have fun and feel free to share your value studies in the project section!

Meet Your Teacher

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Rachael Broadwell

Fine Arts Teacher

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to my studio Mining is Rachel Bridwell, and this is my skill share Siris on oil painting for beginners. Throughout this series, I'm going to walk you through all the fundamentals from the ground up to give you a good, solid foundation in oil painting. In this course, we will take a more thorough look at using value to create a sense of form. Value is the backbone of great painting. The often our perception is distorted by color. A value study enables the student to focus on value and form and detail without the complications of color. If you've taken my course on poster studies, you'll recall that poster studies help you to simplify a subject and quickly explore compositional options. The Value study, on the other hand, begins much the same as a poster study, but it goes much further in exploring form with the value study, you may choose to blend your values, leave your strokes to find or combination of both. You can include as much or as little detail as you like. I will walk you through it to full value studies in varying degrees of completeness and detail. I'm going to show you how to start very simply and to make adjustments easily as you go along to create a realistic sense of form in your painting. Developing a strong sense of value and form is really important as you move forward with color and will help to de mystify the process quite a bit. But remember to use references that are actually in color so that you can begin to see the value through color. All right, I hope you're excited as I am. Let's go ahead and get started. 2. The Value of Value Studies!: simply stated value is the patterns of shadow and light that come together to create a sense of form and form is that sense of a three D illusion that we can create on a two dimensional surface. Value is the backbone of great arts, and it creates the illusion of form in two dimensional visual works like painting. Let's take a look at this wonderful work by Claude Monet. While color maybe the most striking feature of this composition, it wouldn't go very far without a very strong sense of value and form. By taking the color out of this composition, we can see that the composition holds together, although we do lose a lot of information, especially in the orange flowers in the foreground. In the great down version, you don't see those at all. And while color, maybe the most prominent and attractive feature in a painting, and it may even be the reason that we choose to begin painting at all, it's very important to take some time to understand value and form so that you can begin to see value even through color. In my previous skill share course, we explored doing poster studies so What's the difference between doing a poster study in grayscale and doing a value study? Well, let's take a look at two examples on the left. You can see it one of the poster studies that I completed in that previous course, and you can see that compared to the value study on the right, it's pretty crude and simple. Poster studies are meant to help you explore compositions quickly and do some initial problem solving. Ah, value study should be done to begins developing a sense of creating the illusion of form. It's important to note that will beginner value studies very much the same way that we begin our poster studies? We'll just be taking that quite a few steps further to create the illusion of form. So while poster studies air meant to help you do some quick problem solving and to proceed with a composition value studies should be done to begin understanding how you can create form in a two dimensional painting. 3. Demo 1 - Overview: for this first demonstration, I'm going to keep things relatively simple. And so we're going to be ignoring Ah, lot of the detail, such as the pattern on the sheet that is behind the lemon and the tea pot. I'm going to be mostly focusing here just on value and form. And so right now I'm going to go ahead and get started on the block in phase. And remember, the block in phase is very similar to doing a poster study. We're keeping the values very simple, very limited. You can see here on my palette that I basically have four premixed values. A very dark gray, a medium dark gray, a medium light gray and then a light gray. And I'm going to try to do as much work with just these four values as possible, going to be looking for opportunities for lost edges. So right there where the lightest part of the lemon is, and then the background. I allowed that to be a lost edge and then even on the top of the tea pot, a little bit. So here we're just blocking in our most basic values, and this will guide the rest of our process, and now I'm going to begin using some more intermediate values to start bringing out the form in here. So I've added a little bit more white to my lightest gray, but I don't want to overdo it. I want to reserve my pure white just for the very few highlights that I want to add into this piece, because that's really what's going to bring a lot of form to this value study. And one thing that you'll notice when painting with oils is that it has a very unique property in the sense that you will do a lot of mixing on the painting itself. You don't necessarily have to mix everything on your palate because oils stay dry for such a long time. You can go over wet paint with another color and then the color that you're applying and the color you're applying it on top of their going to interact with one another and you're going to get somewhere in between those two colors or those two values so you can actually get a lot of nuance even without doing a lot of mixing. And so I really encourage you to fully explore that property of oil paints because I think that that is one of the great benefits of oil painting. And one thing that you can see that I'm doing in this phase is correcting some of the values that I had initially laid down in the block in phase, for example, the shadow on the bottom part of the tea pots. I thought, maybe parts of that we're just a little bit too dark because I can see just a little bit of a dark ridge forming in the center of the tea pot. And then the shadow closer to the bottom isn't quite as dark, although it's still, of course, darker than any part of the teapot that is in direct light. So I went back over that with a slightly lighter value, so that I could really bring out that darker part in that shadow. And one really great thing about doing value studies is that it's really going to improve your power of observation. You're going to start noticing things that maybe weren't apparent to you before, or maybe in that picture that we all get in our minds that symbolic picture of what we are aiming to Dio might not actually match up with reality. And when you're just focusing on value and you're leaving color out of the equation, it really opens up the opportunity to start noticing surprising little variations like that . And now, as I move on to the final phase of this very simple study, I'm going to be making just the few final adjustments that I need to really bring out the form. And you can see here that I already does have quite a bit of form because our values are in the right place. They're kind of in the right proportion toe one another. I have just the darkest values right where the objects, the teapot in the lemon are, including the light the most, So just right at the base of those is going to be our darkest. And then, of course, in the direct light we have a lot of our lighter graze. But now you can see that I've added just a few white highlights. That form has really become a parent, and a lot of times I find that those really small final adjustments are what really brings the form toe life, and you can decide for yourself how much you want to focus on form in terms of how much realism you want versus how much abstraction you want. There are some people who prefer to work in a flatter style, and so you may not need Teoh. Preoccupy yourself so much with the nuances of value, but it's still really important to understand light and value, even if you're wanting to work in a more stylized manner. And this is where I'm also just looking for the little details where maybe there's a little bit of light just hitting the rim of one of the objects. And another area that I want to focus on is if you look at the file that I've provided in, the resource is of this course and you look at this reference photo, you'll see that the lemon is reflecting on the teapot just a little bit. And so I'm trying to see if I can capture that through value. A lot of that is going to happen, of course, with color, but I am really trying to squint my eyes down to see if any of that can be captured, just threw value, and it's often quite amazing How much color actually does I always say that value is the backbone of arts and rendering, but color actually does do a lot of things because there really isn't that much of a value difference between the yellow reflection on the teapot and then the surrounding area on the teapot. So ah, lot of that work will have to be done with color. So now I'm just softening the edge of the shadow, and that is going to be it for this quick little value study. 4. Demo 1 - Block-In: whether you're doing a simple value study or a full finished painting, it's a really good idea to start out with a very basic blocking where you really simplify not only the values but also the shapes within your composition. We're going to be looking in here for the simplest ways to articulate the major shapes within this composition, and we're going to really restrain our values. You can see on my pellet that I've premixed four values that will be using for the block in phase. I have a very dark gray, a medium dark gray, a medium light grade and then a slightly lighter gray. Didn't want to go to light because I want to avoid my composition looking washed out. And I intentionally chose a subject, one of which is all white. So that teapot is all white, and I think that this is a really great exercise to dio. To study value taken object that it's local color is completely white and see how much value you actually can observe Out of that relatively simple white objects. You'll notice that no part of it is completely white, and I'm going to reserve my white ist color for just a few little spots of highlight that I'll put in at the very end to really bring the form toe life. So I'm going to start out with my darkest value. And I went ahead and blocked in the darkest areas in this composition. First, because with oil, it's always a good idea to at least try toe work from your darkest values and then work up to your lightest values. And the main reason for that is just because if you try to apply a dark value on top of wet paint that is lighter, you're going to get a lot of intermingling between those two colors that may prevent you from getting as dark. A value is you need. And by the way, to mix these values. I just used titanium whites and ivory black. But if you don't have a black, you can, of course, mix your own black with something like raw number and ultra marine blue. That's what I typically dio when I'm actually painting a color painting because I really don't like to use black when I'm working in color. You can really get a lot more chroma into your darks if you mix your black yourself, so that's just a quick little side note. But for a value study, it's pretty easy just to use black, because then you don't have to worry about mixing your blue and your amber together and getting a really neutral gray or black. And even in areas of this where I feel like maybe the colors I've premixed aren't quite right. I'm going to try as much as I can to just stick with the values that I've premixed. So there's going to be a lot of areas that maybe I'm painting them just a little bit darker than how they really appear. But that's going to be relatively easy to correct in the next phase of the value study. So go ahead and just keep things very simple and just try to approximate things to the closest value that you have available on your palates and look for opportunities for lost edges. Lost judges, I think, are one of the most interesting visual aspects of artwork, and so I think it's a really good idea just to start looking for opportunities to utilize lost edges because the eye of the viewer really does so much work when it comes to looking at visuals, so you can have part of your subject. Merge with your background and it's still going to visually make sense to the viewer. And it's going to extract a lot of interests as well. And right here, too, I would say to use a relatively large brush. This certainly isn't the largest brush that I typically use, but it really does the trick to cover a lot of area. And it's not so small that it allows me to start fidgeting. And you really want to avoid doing any kind of detail work or getting lost into details during this phase. Our goal here is just to lay down the most basic values possible and to work in a very quick way just to get everything covered. And we only need to get the values approximately right in this phase because this is really the jumping board from which we can do a lot more work. And even if some areas stay white and you don't quite get them completely covered, or you just have to approximate a darker value, that's completely fine in this phase. So this phase is really no stress. We only need to get our values approximately correct, and then we can do a lot of adjusting from here. 5. Demo 1 - Intermediate Values: Now that we have our block in complete, it's going to be, ah, lot easier for us to begin working with some of the more intermediate values that will help really bring a sense of form to our value study. So I needed just a little bit more white, and I also really wanted to lighten up that lighter gray. And that is just because there are some areas that will need to be a little bit lighter. And so I need this lighter gray to sit on top of what was previously the lightest gray so that we can start bringing out some of the highlights. But remember, we're not going to add any of the actual highlights. The areas on the surface that are really reflecting a lot of lights. We're going to wait until the very end toe, add those. Essentially, we want to wait until we have all of the surrounding values relatively right and correct before we add a highlight, because if we need to make more adjustments after the highlight is applied and the paint is still what it's going to be really difficult to go in if we need to go in with darker values than that white highlight. It's so it's a good idea just to spend a lot of time on your intermediate values, shifting things in a way that makes a lot of sense for the subject that you're painting. And the great thing about oil paints is that it's very easy to make adjustments as long as you stick Teoh working from your darker values to your lighter values. Another really great thing about oil painting that I touched on just a little bit in the overview for this demonstration is the fact that oil paints, just by nature of being oil based stays wet and malleable for a very long period of time. And this is really great because if you use it to your advantage, you will use it to create a lot of subtle nuance within the color and value of your paintings rather than this opaque color sitting on top of previous layers that are completely dry, this will actually intermingle between the layers of paints, and for this reason you also need to be mindful of the way that you are applying the paints , especially if you're anything like me and you like to pay in a very thick imposter style. So what I have to make sure to dio is that when I'm doing my initial layers of paint, I have to make sure I'm not applying the paints who thick? Because when I need to add more paint on top and I already have a very thick layer of paint underneath, it's going to be very difficult to apply more pain onto that already soft surface. So here you can see I'm making some big adjustments to the shadow area on the teapots. Before it was very, very dark, and I noticed within the photo reference that this area that's a little bit closer to the bottom while of course, it is darker than the area of the teapot that's more in light. It's still not quite as dark as I had initially painted it, so I went ahead over that with a slightly lighter value. And then there is that really interesting ridge, just where the shadow area meets the light area on the teapot, where just right there it gets a little bit darker. And I thought that that was really interesting and kind of surprising because sometimes shadow and light doesn't always work in exactly a Grady int type of way. Sometimes there's going to be darker parts before it gets a little bit lighter. But ultimately the whole shadow area does need to be darker than all of the areas that are in direct light. And that's why it could be really helpful to premix your values so you can refer to this value scale that's going to be automatically set up on your palate to help guide you in that process. When it comes to values, one of the biggest mistakes that new artists make is that they see those areas within the shadow that are just a little bit lighter. And we kind of interpret those as being the same value as some of the values that we see in the light. Because, of course, even in the lighter areas, there's going to be different variations between your lightest values and your medium light values. And so it's really important. Teoh. Keep that in mind that areas that are in shadow are always going to be darker than every area that is in light. So keep that in mind and take your time with this phase to really adjust your values and capture those interesting nuances 6. Demo 1 - Final Adjustments: in the 1st 2 phases of this value study, we really knocked out a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes Teoh placing our values. Remember during the block in phase our objective there is just to place the approximately correct values and to identify some of the larger value shapes within the composition. In Phase two, we started to use some intermediate values to help correct some of those first values that we place down in the block in phase two. Make them a little bit more true to your observation. And now that we've reached Phase three, which will be the final phase for this simple value study, we are just going to start making some final adjustments and really focusing on bringing the form of these objects toe life. And this is more of an analytical stages. Well, there's not going to be nearly as much applying physical paints as there is just looking, observing and seeing what areas need to be somewhat adjusted. This is also the phase where I'm going, Teoh look a little bit more at the fabric in the background and while I'm not painting any details in this study, so I'm not painting any of the little flowers that are on the fabric. I am going to start looking for, ah, lot more nuance within the values of the entire composition, Keeping in mind that my focal point is really the teapot and the lemon. And so I don't want to give too much attention and work to the background. So now you can see that I have gone ahead and I've applied some somewhat large highlight areas to both the teapot and the lemon. And while these look much wider than everything else, this was actually not a pure white. What I'm going to dio is look for that little glint of highlight within the photo reference . And then that is the only area that I will use pure white in this piece. So at an even smaller daub of paint where I want to really bring the highlight toe life. But now I'm using this much lighter whites or I'm sorry, lighter gray Teoh. Notice some of the smaller areas that are receiving just a little bit of light. So, for example, on the handle of the teapot, I can see that there's just a little bit of light hitting just the rim of that handle. And so adding just a very small amount of that light value will really bring that toe life and help it to appear a little bit less flat. And I'm also starting to notice some of the light that is being reflected from the sheet back onto the shadow area of the teapot. And again, the really cool thing about oil painting is that even though I'm applying a very light value to that area, it's going to be intermingling with those darker grays that I've already applied to the shadow area because they are still wet. So I'm not going to get a super light value there, like as light as it is in the highlight areas, because it's going to intermingle with that darker layer underneath. And if you do find that you've made a mistake, for example, maybe you've put a value into your shadow area. That's just way too lights. The other beauty about oil painting is that you can make almost an infinite number of adjustments, and that's why I often feel comfortable working in oils without doing any kind of preliminary drawing. As you saw with this demonstration because even if my initial pass doesn't get the shapes and the forms, just rights. Oil paint is just so forgiving and allows us to adjust those things as we go. So it's just really a great medium, very forgiving. I know that a lot of people find it very intimidating for a number of reasons, but it's actually even more forgiving than acrylic or gua sh and definitely watercolor. So now I'm looking for areas that are being completely occluded from the lights, and that is happening on Lee at the very base of the teapot and the lemon. When I did my initial blocking, I didn't use any pure black during that phase. I'm reserving that just in the same way that I'm reserving my whitest weights. And so I went ahead and I applied a very thick pass of pure black just at the very base of the teapot and the lemon, because that will help give it a lot more form. And right now what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to see if I can create that little bit of reflection on the teapot that I can see some yellow in in the picture and one of the biggest challenges in doing a value study and what I really encourage you to do is tow work from a color reference. Whether you are working from a still life subject that's actually in front of you or a photo reference, it's really important to start training yourself to see the value of the colors that you're painting Colors really have a way of tricking our perception and making us think that they are a different value than what they actually are. For example, the reflection of that lemon in the teapot is very bright, and I think that our eyes interpret that as being a lighter value. But really, when I squint my eyes enough that I'm blocking out a lot of the color information from my eyes, I'm seeing that it's actually not that much of a value difference. All right, so here is our final little value study. It's very simple and rough but effective in helping us to understand value underlying color 7. Demo 2 - Overview: If you watched my previous skill share course on doing poster studies with oil paints, you'll remember that I did a series of coffee cups in which I explored a concept called Key . And just as a reminder key is the overall value composition of your piece. So ah, high key composition is going to be consisted of mostly values on the lighter side of the value scale, while a low key composition will focus the values on the darker part of the value scale and my favorite composition. Out of that Siris was my Loki Coffee Cup. So what I'm going to be doing for my next demonstration is revisiting that same subjects. But I'm going to be refining it a lot more than what I did in the poster study, and I'm also going to be adding in a lot of details. So for this first phase, it's really not any different from doing that initial poster study. It's going to be right here in Phase two that I begin to refine this composition, and I decided to move my palate over to the other side because I kept dipping my arm into my paints doesn't usually happen but sometimes you just have to make little adjustments. So here I'm going to go ahead and start putting in these intermediate values, allowing them to intermingle with that initial block in layer. So this is going to enable me to add a lot more nuance to the values in this piece so that I can begin bringing out the form and bringing this composition toe life. You can see that I really simplified the shadow areas in the light areas, especially on the fabric, in the poster study phase of this composition. So now what I'm going to do is try to make that area look a little bit more soft and gradual in terms of the values. I'm really trying to avoid doing any blending here because that's just really not my style of working. I really like to keep my strokes very defined and individual, but that's just a personal preference. You can see that I'm tilting this piece a lot, and that's really just due to my lighting situation. When I first started painting this, I was getting a lot of glare on the darks, which can make them appear a lighter value than they really are, and so I found that I needed to tilt it just to see my actual value. So during phase three, this is going to be a little bit different than the previous demonstration I did for you, because in that piece I really kept a lot of the details out. And here I actually want that juxtaposition of the white coffee mug against the flowery fabric in the background. And so, rather than going in and trying to paint little tiny flowers into the background, all I did was add really small swatches of paint to begin giving a sense of texture to that pattern. Now my lighting situations just a little bit better so you can see the values a little bit more true to form. One of the tricky things about doing a piece like this, where there is a pattern in the background is that the patterned image on the fabric really needs to match up with the value that it's against. Now. My first pass at that pattern, I really just used the very darkest gray that I had, and I applied that very liberally all over the composition, again, not paying any attention to the fact that those are actually little flowers, I really just want them to read as a texture or a pattern that's not clearly defined. So I left those very blocky at first. And now while I'm doing my final adjustments, I'm going to go in and really correct a lot of the values in the background. So what I'm doing isn't going in where we need a little bit of a lighter value on that pattern, the background and I'm applying that lighter value around the pattern of flowers. And that was especially important here in the lightest area on the fabric. And of course, when I did my blocking, I was only trying to approximate the correct placement of values. And so in this phase, I can really go in and make those a little bit more accurate, and thats much easier to dio when you have some jumping off ground. And that is really the whole point of doing that initial block in or poster study. It just gives you a a jumping off point that you can make corrections from, and it will really guide your process. And then also in this phase, I really worked on bringing out the form in the cup. So I softened some of the edges that I didn't get. Teoh do in my initial poster study to really bring this coffee cup toe life. And, of course, I saved the lightest highlights on the mug for last. 8. Demo 2 - Block-In: Now let's take a more in depth look at the process of this more detailed value study of the coffee mug that is a low key value composition. And one thing I didn't get to mention in the overview was, of course, because I want this to be a low key composition. I premixed my values so that the majority of these values are going to be on the darker half of the value scale. And if you haven't watched my skill share course on poster studies, I really recommend that because I walk you through exactly how Teoh determine what key you're going to be using and how to mix those values, as well as how to mix values with the desired visual space between the values. And that's very important for doing value studies. So, of course, for this first phase, I'm keeping it very simple, keeping it very blocking. Of course, this is called the block in phase, and it is very, very similar to doing a poster study. This is basically where we're doing a poster study, and then we're just taking that poster study to the next level. And so during this phase again, you really should relax and not worry about getting your values exactly right. Look for opportunities to have lost edges because that makes your composition just a little bit more interesting. And it also helps you to begin to think a little bit more abstract li about painting. And I think it's really important to keep in mind that when you're painting, even though you're painting the impression of an object, if you're doing representational arts, you can't actually paint a mug onto your flat surface. What we're trying to do here is to some degree that is completely up to you. Of course, we are creating the illusion of form and to what degree you want to take that is always going to be up to you. Of course, there's some people who strive to make their paintings as realistic as possible. Other people like toe work in a much more simple or graphical manner. I'm somewhere in between I am a big fan of Impressionism, so I want things to have some sense of realism to them. But I'm in no way trying to mimic nature, so I'm trying to find some happy space between creativity, simplification and realism. and no matter what your objective is is always excellent to have a solid foundation of understanding of value form and just the way that light interacts with the physical world. And then you can use that knowledge to create whatever style of painting your aiming to creates. So again here, especially on the rim of this coffee mug, I'm finding that I don't have a value that's quite light enough to capture that. So what I'm doing is I'm just approximating it to the lightest value that I've already mixed on my palette. Trying to keep things, of course, very simple and blocky during this phase and really just letting things happen the way that they're goingto happen, keeping in mind that any adjustments that truly need to be made can be made in the next few phases of painting. Right now, my main aim is just to approximately have the correct values in place and toe have my entire surface covered, and then from there I can use this as a jumping off point. Teoh begin adjusting values and adding details and bringing this composition toe life 9. Demo 2 - Intermediate Values: Now that my block in is complete, I can start using intermediate values to make any corrections to values in the block and phase that we're not exactly right, and I can start creating that illusion of form. But before I could get there needed to rearrange my workspace just a little bit. And sometimes you'll find that what always works for you suddenly isn't. And so I needed to just move my palate over to the other side because I was dipping my arm into my paint, which is never a good thing. You never want to get any kind of pigment in contact directly with your skin, so make adjustments as you need. And a lot of times when you're painting, you'll find that you will have the pallets on a different surface than what you're painting is. You might have your painting oriented vertical on an easel, and then you're pellet that you're mixing on might be off to the side on a flat surface. But for the purposes of making videos, I like toe have everything kind of side by side. So now, of course, what I'm doing is I'm going to start making some adjustments first, I'm going to utilize mostly the values that I already have mixed on my pellet, and I'm just going to let those intermingle with the wet layer of the block in. And what happens here is that, say that I am trying to adjust an area that is a little bit too dark on my initial block in , and I go over that area with a lighter value because the blocking layer is still wet. That new layer that I'm putting on the adjustment layer of the intermediate value, those two values air going to mix together. So I'm going to get something in between that lighter value and then the darker value that I'm placing it on top of. And as I said before, that is just a really great aspect of oil paint that you can use to your advantage as long as you really understand how that works. And, of course, you do want to be mindful that your initial layers air not too thick, you don't want to soft of a surface to apply additional paint onto. For me, this is a challenge because I really like to paint in an alla prima on in Posso method Alla prima means that I like to work wet into wet rather than letting layers dry between applications. I like to do it all at once, which is what alla prima means, and I like to use very thick applications of paint. And that could be a challenge if I put too much paint on in the initial layers. It's very difficult to apply additional paint onto that soft surface, so now you can see that I'm really working on the light and shadow areas on the background . Of course, you can see in my photo reference that the distinguish mint between the area on the fabric that's getting the most light in the area that is in darkness isn't really as clear cut as what I made it look to be in my block in phase. So what I need to do here is start adjusting those areas to give a little bit more nuanced ingredient to the fabric. So what I'm doing here in the slider areas, I'm going in with darker paint, but you can see that it's intermingling with that wet light pain underneath. And so it's not looking quite as dark as the mixture. That's on my palette, and I can start to soften those edges. You can do a little bit of blending in this phase if you like to do blending. I really like to keep my strokes very individual and separate and just let everything blend in a more optical way for the viewer. But that's really up to you. I think that one thing that you do need to be mindful of if you're a beginner is that oil paint does allow you to do a lot of blending. But there is such a thing as over blending, and I think that that's something that a lot of beginners do because it's very easy just to stay in one area, and maybe you're uncertain about what to move onto, and so you might just get enthralled with your ability to blend and make these very seamless transitions between values. But you really do want to have a balance of areas that are maybe a little bit blended in the areas that are not blended at all, because that's going to add a lot of visual interest to your composition. So here I am, just This is almost a secondary block in phase where I'm adding these intermediate values. I still haven't really brought this form toe life quite at this point, and during this phase, I probably won't even get around to adding in the very small highlights to the mug. What I'm really focusing on is just some of these transitions that need to be adjusted a little bit and working on these intermediate values so that we don't have that blocky look anymore. I'm just starting to refine some of the edges and making things look just a little bit more natural, and you can see that I'm sometimes tilting my painting. That's just because of the lighting situation that I'm working under. It will get better in the next couple of phases because I'm actually going to move to a different area of my house where there isn't so much light. You'll find that when you're working with very dark paint, if the light is hitting it in a certain way, you're going to get a lot of glare, which makes those values look actually a little bit lighter than they really are. And so it's important to be able to recognize that and adjust accordingly. 10. Demo 2 - Texture & Details: in the first value study demonstration that I did for this course, I focused exclusively on just value and form for that teapot in lemon. However, I do want to show you that value just has so much power in arts. We really can do almost anything with just the correct values. And so, in this demonstration, I want to show you that we can do ah lot of detail. In fact, we can dio all of the details that we really need to do in order to make a great painting. And so I'm actually going to add in this pattern that is on the fabric in the background. It's just a bunch of little blue flowers. But I really like that juxtaposition between that very simple, smooth white cup and then the background that has just a little bit of texture. And so I really want to bring that out. Now, when I first start adding in this texture, you'll notice that I am not going in and trying to paint any type of little itty bitty flowers in here. I really am not concerned with the fact that the pattern consists of flowers per se. I'm more interested, of course, in that juxtaposition between the pattern to background and then the very plain coffee mug . So I'm going to keep this very much as an impressionist style, and I'm just going to let those flowers on the fabric be little Dobbs of darker paint. And all I did initially was I went around the entire background, and I added just very small, short strokes of a very dark value. You can see that in the darker areas of the background, those Dobbs air not showing up a smudge. But there's a lot more contrast created in the lighter areas on the fabric. And I left those very crude for now, and I will be making ah, lot more adjustments to that area of this painting in the final phase of this value study. And again, I'm just tilting my painting a little bit as needed to make sure that there's no glare on the darker areas so that I can make a proper evaluation of what needs to be done. But now you can see have actually adjusted my lighting situation a little bit more so you can really see the dark values without the glare of light, hitting them and making them appear lighter than they really are. And you won't have to worry too much about that kind of glare if you're working on a proper easel and your painting is oriented a little bit more vertically, because then the light above will not be hitting the surface of your painting in such a direct way. So now I'm really going in, and I'm focusing a lot more on the form of the cup. I generally have all of my values in the right place, and I've used my intermediate values to create more nuance and to adjust some of the values that weren't quite rights. And the biggest area in this mug that I see that needs to be adjusted is going to be just right around the rim of the mug. I want Teoh give the feel of a nice, rounded surface there instead of kind of a flat, blocky edge right on that ren as it initially appeared in the block in phase. So I'll spend time in that area, just trying Teoh, adjust the edges between those values to create a more rounded look. I'm also paying a little bit more attention to the actual black coffee within the mug. Of course it's very dark and this was in a low lighting situation when I took the photograph for my reference. So there's not going to be a lot of reflection on the black coffee as there might be in other situations. But there is just a little bit of a rim around the liquid that's just a little bit lighter , and that's going to set the tone for the highlight, which I just applied there. It's a very, very small highlights, but a lot of times it's these really tiny highlights that do so much work when it comes to making form appear a little bit more realistic and now you can see that we have really done a lot of the work to set the stage for a really effective value study. The last things that I'm going to need to do for this value study in phase four are just going to be some of those little final adjustments, so areas that still need a little bit of correction within the values which is in this case is going to be primarily that background. I really need Teoh do a little bit more work to bring that toe life. But otherwise the mug is looking pretty good. Remember, don't overdo it on the highlights. That's really one of those instances where the less you dio, the more effective it's going to be. And it could be really easy to go overboard on things like highlights and lighter values. 11. Demo 2 - Final Adjustments: all right, and now we are ready to finalize this value study with a little bit more detail. And I have the mug looking pretty good, in my opinion. So I'm really not going to have to do anymore work to the mug. I do want to keep it relatively simple again. Part of my objective with this value study was just to kind of explore the juxtaposition between the patterned background and then the relatively simple coffee mug. So I am leaving some of the values in the coffee mug just a little bit more blocky. I focused more of that attention just on the rim of the coffee mug to help it look a little bit more round and soft than it initially did. And then I added just a little bit of highlight Teoh the black coffee. And then there are just some very small, subtle highlights on the rim and the handle of the coffee mug. So now I'm going to be spending more of my time adjusting the values in the background because again, while I want those little flowers to read as just being a little bit of texture in the background, they do still need to match up with the value of the fabric that they are on. And I initially applied just little Dobbs of black paint kind of uniformly all over the background. And what I really need to adjust is the value around those areas. The most important adjustment that I need to make is this one right here. So the area of the fabric that's getting a little bit more lights, I really need Teoh emphasize the light hitting that area. There's a couple of folds and wrinkles in the fabric, so I'm going Teoh, leave those areas a little bit darker. But I'm letting this lighter gray intermingle with the gray that was previously on here so that this doesn't read as being completely white or overly light. So you can see that I'm kind of mixing it in a little bit more oven intermediate way so that it sits on top of the previous layers, enlightens it just a little bit. Not to dramatically, though, in the darker areas, it's important to remember that you're not going to see is much value or detail anyway. Everything is going to be a pretty uniformly dark. He might just see a little bit of a hint of that pattern in the shadowy areas, so I won't have to do much adjustment at all in those darker areas of the fabric. I'm going to leave those very, very simple and just as it can be somewhat of a beginner's pitfall to overdo the highlights in the lighter areas in a composition. Another potential pitfall that a lot of beginners will experience is that they will start seeing more detail in the shadowy dark areas than they really should interpret. The human eye really is amazing, and we can see a lot of details in various lighting situations. But as artists, our job here is to do some of the interpretation of the painting to simplify it and not to get lost in every little detail. Because what can happen if you try to see too much detail in those dark areas you're going toe over, articulate them and they're going to become distracting. So as a general principle, it's a good idea to remember that in the darkest areas of your painting, you're going to see a lot less detail than you will in the mid tones and then the lighter tones of your composition. And as I finish up adjusting the lighter areas on the fabric, noticed that I am beginning to dissipate those lighter strokes that I'm applying so that I get a little bit of a softer Grady int between that light area, where it meets the darker area in shadow. And so that's just another way to achieve the optical illusion of a Grady int or blending without actually doing any physical blending, Which to me, of course, I'm a little biased because I'm a big fan of Impressionism. I really think that that makes a composition look really, really interesting. Now I'm going to begin adjusting some areas within the shadowy part of the fabric, But I'm going to be really careful, Teoh, first of all, not overdo it because I don't want that area to become washed out in two lights, and I'm also going to use a very dark value to bring up some of the shadowed area that's getting a little bit of reflected light. So I definitely want to keep the contrast back there very low and very subtle. And so again, I'm just going around the darker dobs of paint that I applied to represent the little flowers of the pattern. And a lot of this phase, of course, is just being very analytical and making very wise decisions. A lot of the actual painting in this process is very minimal during this phase. But these little minimal strokes that we put down will end up making a huge effect. And so now the last thing that I'm adjusting is just that little bit of light on the edge of the handle, and this is done. 12. Final Thoughts: Thank you so much for joining me on this course. I hope that you enjoyed it. And I really look forward to seeing your project posted in the project section of this course. If you have any questions at all Of course Feel free to ask me anything in the discussion section of this course and I will make sure to answer you. And if you like to be notified when I upload new courses here to still share feel free. Teoh, follow me here on still share. And then it will be notified every time I upload a horse again. Thank you so much. I really hope you enjoyed it. And happy painting.