It was when I began studying with John Phillip Osborne that I really began to understand the value of the value scale (gradations from light to dark). When looking at a landscape there are so many objects, forms (like leaves on trees) and how does one begin to capture it all? Reduce everything down into just three values. Use a red glass or red cellophane to see value without color.
You will notice three values dominate... LIGHT (shapes massed together in sunlight). MEDIUM (the areas between the sunlight and shadows) and DARKS (areas in shadow). See below.
Did you see the distinct three values when looking through the red glass? I have drawn them here in this quick 30 second sketch.
Osborne spoke of triads, three of them to be exact.
He suggested we use a nine step value scale as opposed to the ones that offer more. His teacher was Arthur Maynard, and his Frank Vincent Dumond. It is my belief that I heard that this concept was handed down to them over the years because it simplified the approach when learning how to capture the myriad of values . The first triad must be mastered before moving to the second and third triad. I have also developed a simple system to create a value study and then a color study. (See this in the article about the next two triads.) Register below to receive the next lesson.
You will notice that there are a variety of colors and some value changes in the Light, Medium and Dark value shapes. I've moved on to the next triads. To receive an email explaining the next triads, click here and tell me what stage of painting you are in: Beginner, intermediate or advanced. A Value Finder (red cellophane and with the value scale) is included in the gift bag when you take any of my classes or workshops. I'd love to share with you what was passed to me from the masters who I studied under by sending you the next lesson. Learn more about upcoming workshops. Click here.