Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Friday, December 16, 2011


Stripped...of color, that is.

I'm a great believer in simple value structures. The fewer values you use to make your statement, the more impact you'll have. 

These paintings are, obviously, done in black and white. Without color you're left with only values. I find it much easier because quite simply, there's less information to deal with. It also means that you can't rely on color changes to distinguish one area from another, so you really have to be sensitive to value modulations. Beginning painters sometimes find this very challenging, but it's as basic as understanding sentence structures. A noun and a verb will make a sentence. Addition of adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, conjugations, etc. will make a more complex sentence, but it can get very confusing, right?

Anyway, just a couple of values and no color to worry about. You can really (and you have to) pay attention to edges, brushwork, drawing and design. It might open your eyes to where you are weak. (And you thought color was the problem!)

Color is difficult to master, to be sure, but without solid understanding of the bones underneath it all, you're only faking it.  So get your value groove on, Do some black and white studies (of any subject - doesn't have to be figures) and see how comfortable you are with the limited parameters.

You know what else is so great about just painting with black and white? It's cheap!