Daffodil Pair

Daffodil Pair by Karen LaFontaine
Daffodil Pair Value Study by Karen LaFontaine Artist’s Journal On The Easel

How to Paint A Value Study of Flowers

A return to simple value studies is inspiring me with fresh ideas this summer!

After all, what is summer without a valued mentor assigning a list of must read books, or in my case, a series of small paintings to be executed using only black and white and painted on Arches Oil Paper. Summer has always provided me with some of my most sublime painting moments. This summer, engaging with fellow artists is truly seeing me through many days of exciting summer studies!

A commitment to executing value studies is a good idea for an artist, because it helps to revisit good practices. Black and white studies strengthen our skills in the basics of painting construction; we focus on our lightest and darkest values, and the great tonal range in between. Value studies sharpen our ability to create movement and space, and to create a three dimensional form, on our flat canvas. For me, this is an exciting way to spend a day at my easel, three hundred and sixty five days a year!

Would you like to join in the summer fun? Well, it is simple. These are the art supplies you need for your value study. Gather up:

  • One pad of Arches Oil Paper in your desired size,
  • Two tubes of oil paint: Titanium White and one black. (For my value studies, I favor Chromatic Black (Gamblin Artists Colors), however, Ivory Black or Mars Black will serve),
  • Oil painting medium such as refined linseed oil, or Gamblin’s Solvent Free Gel (a great medium that helps with blending),
  • A graphite pencil and eraser (handy, if you like to sketch out your subject before painting it),
  • A couple of nice paint brushes, soft or bristle – you choose what you like!

This short list of basic artist materials will work wonderfully, weather you choose to paint indoors or outside!

On many days, I am a studio painter – I paint indoors, using my photography, sketches and value studies, as reference for my paintings. You should choose whatever subject inspires you! These suggestions may help you get started on painting your value study:

  • A bouquet of flowers,
  • A blooming house plant,
  • Your wonderful pet,
  • A favorite vacation photo,
  • A photograph of flowers blooming in your garden.

Any of these subjects will serve nicely as the jumping off point for a creative afternoon. Weather you paint indoors or out, just remember to smile, and hum along as you study, making your own music truly helps the creative process!

My black and white value study is entitled, Daffodil Pair, and is inspired by my garden photography. My study is preparation for a full color painting showcasing this year’s first arriving daffodils that bloomed in my garden this spring!

Thank you for visiting with me in my Artist’s Journal, On The Easel. I love sharing my creative moments in time, that fuel my summer painting days with you! Article image, detail from Daffodil Pair, A Black and White Value Study, 9 x 12 inches, oil on Arches Oil Paper.

Be well, Karen LaFontaine

To enjoy more studies painted on Arches Oil Paper visit my post: Tree Study, Oil On Paper

Message Karen at her art studio at: karen@karenlafontainefineart.com

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