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Acrylic Workshop in Value Contrasts

Creating Stronger Paintings by Understanding Value

Click on the image to view Workshop flyer online or as a downloadable PDF.

This workshop is designed to help artists improve their acrylic paintings by understanding the significance of value contrasts and how to use them effectively to create striking compositions that hold up when viewed from a distance. In the first portion of the workshop, students will paint several 4”x6” compositional studies in black, white and shades of gray to help master good placement of lights and darks. Concepts like developing contrast in the focal point/area of interest, creating a visual path that moves the eye through the painting and providing a resting space will be discussed, along with the role that value changes play in these considerations. Later exercises will be introduced to help participants see the intrinsic value properties of each color on the color wheel. Learning to assign values to colors from light to dark can be tricky, so visual exercises will be introduced to familiarize students with this concept. We will learn to use complementary colors as well as tints, shades and tones to adjust the hue and intensity of colors based on the needs of the painting. There will be numerous demonstrations, lots of one-on-one attention from the instructor and a group critique on the last day. The final product will be a full sheet 22” x 30” colorful abstract painting that focuses on value contrasts.

Sandra’s workshops are filled with useful information presented in a relaxed, light-hearted manner that result in new insights into art making.

There will be lots of helpful handouts, one-on-one time with the instructor and group discussions to keep things lively and interesting.

Beginners to Advanced Painters

Materials List

  • Acrylic paints, basic colors on the color wheel plus any additional colors you may have acrylic colors you may have
  • White and black gesso
  • Gloss medium
  • Minimum of three 22×30 sheets of Strathmore Aquarius paper
  • Brushes and sponge brushes
  • Palette of your choice
  • 2 spray bottles, one with water and one with alcohol
  • Large water bucket, paper towels, scrapers or old credit cards, rubber stamps and other texturing items, small cups for paint mixing, apron or old shirt
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