Painting Color over Value?

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Old 07 July 2009   #1
Painting Color over Value?

There are people who always start with color and those who start with value then paint over. Is there any drawback to either method or is it just preference?
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Old 07 July 2009   #2
Separating the two helps me to tackle one issue at a time, Value (Black and White) and then colour on top.

I believe you'll always be painting value first, even when starting in colour. unless you begin very abstractly.
If you didn't paint any values even with colour it'd be hard to see whats happening - for example: throw a grey layer above any image and set it to 'luminosity' - that's pure colour. See what I mean?!
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Old 07 July 2009   #3
I remember in art school, the rigor and discipline of a whole semester just painting everything in gray scale only, the second semester we were introduced to "siena" and "royal blue" to learn about "warm & cool" in addition to our black and white acrylics from the prior semester. There was a single jumbled pile of junk in the center of the room, and the teacher told us that we would be painting it for the full semester. It sounded "deadly" at first hearing, but to this day, those two semesters were more helpful and formative as a foundation of all later color work. Your images will have greater structural coherence if the dark and light pattern is made clear, along with the cool and warm balance. They can overlap or be at variance from each other, and all of the variations of tone and hue then play across from this structure. Take a digital photo of a piece in progress, then convert it to black and white, just to see what shapes and interlocks are formed by the values, independent of the effect of color.
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Old 07 July 2009   #4
Thanks for the replys !

So it's not bad to start in only grayscale first then paint color over it, it doesnt take away anything that you could get from starting with color off the bat? Is it just a time issue?
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Old 07 July 2009   #5
One approach you can take that will decrease any risk of making mistake you'll regret later, is to simply do tiny thumbnail speedpaints/roughs. You can figure out the tonal composition of your image that way, and then if you want to also figure out how the colors will work with the values, you can then apply colors and experiment with different versions. Once you have a solid idea of what you want, you can then paint the image in any way you want, as you already figured out all the values and colors on your tiny thumbnail roughs and can use them as guides.
 
Old 07 July 2009   #6
I personally prefer the method Lunatique described. To me it feels better to figure out what I want to paint and how I want to paint it as much as possible before starting on the actual painting.
Then with these ideas in mind I can start freshly on a 'clean canvas' laying out the colours and forms. Every now and then I saturate the image to see if it's still working. I Personally feel images painted this way have more potential to have depht in the colour. I'm not saying you can't achieve the same effect with painting over greyscale but it harder to achieve since some of the spontaneity is gone. It does thought lent itself better to more smooth paintings in someways i guess.
 
Old 07 July 2009   #7
Originally Posted by Bouke285: Thanks for the replys !

So it's not bad to start in only grayscale first then paint color over it, it doesnt take away anything that you could get from starting with color off the bat? Is it just a time issue?


It's a skill issue, too. Not everyone knows what to do with a grayscale image to introduce color without messing up either the underlying value or the intended color. There are different ways to do it.

One example I like to refer to is Stahlberg's Jealousy (fairy murder painting) tutorial

Last edited by jfrancis : 07 July 2009 at 05:09 PM.
 
Old 07 July 2009   #8
You may also want to take a look at this thread, where I demonstrated to someone how to colorize a greyscale image after he was getting frustrated at his own failed efforts:
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...?f=166&t=740960
 
Old 08 August 2009   #9
I'm glad to have found this thread. I just started to get back into art and I'm searching for a good technique and workflow using this digital medium. Back when I took art classes I was taught underpainting and with most of the oil on canvas works I've done in the past I've used a grayscale underpainting which I add color to later. It's the technique I'm comfortable with.

Having said that, I'm always impressed by a lot of the artwork around here that seems to have been created without a grayscale underpainting. The colors seem more vibrant for one thing, and I just have this idea in my head that people that skip that step are able to work faster. But, for the life of me, for the most part I have not been able to work effectively without skipping that step.

I did manage to complete a piece without any significant underpainting, but the lighting was condusive to working that way since there really weren't a wide range of value changes on the subject's face.

I'm working on another portrait right now and I'm relying heavily on a grayscale underpainting and I'm wondering if it's just my skill level that's keeping me from being able to effectively work with color from the get-go...
 
Old 08 August 2009   #10
Brady - I can't see the image in your link--it's not showing up.

In my upcoming workshop, I actually directly address your particular situation--how to build an image up directly in color, and how to be just effective working in that manner as when in greyscale. It's just one of the topics and there are a ton of other critical techniques and knowledge contained in the 8 week workshop. I'm working hard on finishing it and cgtalk will announce it when it's done. Sign up for the CGSociety newsletter and you'll be notified when it comes out.
 
Old 08 August 2009   #11
Originally Posted by Lunatique: Brady - I can't see the image in your link--it's not showing up.

In my upcoming workshop, I actually directly address your particular situation--how to build an image up directly in color, and how to be just effective working in that manner as when in greyscale. It's just one of the topics and there are a ton of other critical techniques and knowledge contained in the 8 week workshop. I'm working hard on finishing it and cgtalk will announce it when it's done. Sign up for the CGSociety newsletter and you'll be notified when it comes out.


Thanks for the heads up. That's definately something I'm interested in. I don't know why the images in the link aren't showing up for you. They show up fine for me...
 
Old 08 August 2009   #12
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