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Color Harmony in Your Paintings by Margaret Kessler

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b28 Contrast of Value

Value is an important element in color harmony because it attracts attention before color stirs your emotions. Many paintings fail because the artist reads the values of the colors incorrectly. A painting may be very colorful, but disorganized light and dark values lead to a disjointed, chaotic and ultimately unsuccessful design.

To create exciting, energetic scenes, use a full range of values, from very light to very dark. Full-value paintings scream for attention because our eyes are instantly attracted to the contrasts of light and dark.

After working out a preliminary value sketch in pencil, it’s best to transfer your value ...

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