We need really light lights and those really dark darks to give our paintings dimension and make them pop. A lot of artists, including myself, have a tendency to want to make everything more or less midtone and that’s a mistake.
I was reminded of this when working on my painting last night.
I was using a light gray on this area, because I thought white would be too extreme, and then I thought, you know what, this isn’t light enough. So I got out some straight titanium white and painted over it.
Notice at the beginning of this post I said, if you need to. Not everything needs to be stark white or jet black, or even charcoal gray. Midtones are necessary. But the midtones aren’t going to do anything for your piece if you don’t have the lights and darks in there also.
I’ve made a video just on the topic of shading and highlighting and why we do it as artists, so if you’ve been a bit confused during this that should clear it up.
You can here more and see me working on my painting in this video.
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Painter of portraits and wildlife