| 05 October, 2011 00:14
There are many element of design that should be considered when creating a successful watercolor painting but, above all, consideration should be given to value contrast. That is a contrast in lights, medium and dark tones. Squint your eyes to evaluate the value contrast of a painting. Squinting aids in blurring out color and seeing the value. All colors have a value and correspond to a particular gray on a value scale. Yellows are naturally light value; darks can be found between reds through greens. Mixing (always on the paper, not in your palette) Alizarin Crimson with Winsor or Thalo Green (blue shade) yields the best, clean and transparent dark color and you can lean towards either one to adjust to make it warmer (with Alizarin) or cooler (with the green). Before you start your painting do a small value study. It need only be a thumbnail but keep it approximately in the same proportions as your planned painting. Do several value studies and look for good movement throughout the composition and connect medium and dark shapes to create larger shapes. An all-over scattering of lights and darks is not very pleasant to look at and looks unplanned. Working and assessing values will teach you so much about design and save you a lot of time and disappointment.