At this point, I’m just working slowly on this figure painting from the top down. Her back is mostly in shadow so I’m working on the subtle nuances of value and color in shadow.

These values and colors are so close that I have to constantly put down a stroke of paint and ask three questions.

  1. Is it too dark or too light?
  2. Is it too warm or too cool?
  3. Is it too intense or too dull?

Ahh, the basics of color and value… Yes, it is a constant battle. I feel that no matter how good I get at this art thing I will always be reviewing the very basics.

Value, Temperature, chroma, in that order. This is how I look at everything now. Honestly, it’s the only way that I can figure out what I’m seeing. This is not like grade school when it was easy to pick out secondaries and name them. Heck, I even think looking at the PMS color system with its hundreds of swatches of colors would be easier.

Female Figure Painting: Session 7, Top Down, detail

I find it very interesting that skin doesn’t look right unless there is a little blue and green in places.

Female Figure Painting: Session 7, Top Down, setup


  • Session: 1356
  • Work: 1167
  • Width: 11"
  • Height: 15"
  • Medium: Oil
  • Location: Home
  • Art Time: 1.75
  • Creative Time:



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Chris Beaven

I am an Artist and a programmer currently living in the amazing state of Washington. I have a passion for art, but I'm stubborn as hell with it. My day is complete only when I do some piece of art each day, no matter how small. "There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile."