Thursday, May 12, 2011

Learning about Values and Colour

I have never really been to any painting class as such and have painted what I see the best way I see it. But I was feeling the need to understand things about colour, how to get perspective in my water colours and such likes! So I signed up for Fiona Kingdon's online class. Fiona is a tremendous artist whom I met through Wet Canvas and I feel privileged to learn from her ( Bless the net, as it has made these classes so real and so immediate! I have an independent learning plan based on my needs and we have started with a bang.
The first thing I have learnt is about colour and value. First I had to practice a great deal on understanding colour value. Below is an example:
It was really quite difficult to grade a colour from its deepest shade down to almost white on a scale of 10. Once I was able to do that with some degree of proficiency (I still have to practice a huge amount) we moved to my first picture.  The aim was to learn to identify the center of interest (COI) in a picture and then paint that. The picture Ona chose  is one that we took on our trip to Roopkund and is given here:
In the first picture the COI was the door frame and the door and it came out like this:
I used the darkest  colour, and the brightest and the most contrasts on the door way high lighting the carvings of the door posts. I left the inside with almost no detail and Ona told me about giving it ultramarine blue washes so that it receded....and it did!
In the next picture the COI was the inside of the house. This time I kept the colours and values of the door frame light with little contrast in values. I added detail to the insideof the house, focusing on the sack at the top of the stairs, the wood panel on the walls and the stairs it self. The picture changed totally!
I am really excited about being able to create the difference, and realise how important it is, and what a difference it makes to a painting!


  1. Very interesting blog. I too haven't taken any watercolor painting classes. I learned a lot here today. I might have to look up the course you're taking. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for sharing this, very interesting !

  3. Great job on both of these!!! I like how the COI changed. You are learning from a master. I love Ona's work!