Blending and Value

How to Use Blends, Values and Special Brush Strokes in Oil Painting

Blending Lessons

In these lessons you will learn how to 'blend' oil paint, which is a key skill whereby the paint is made to change gradually from one shade of paint to another on the canvas and is achieved through a variety of brush techniques. Being able to blend paint on the canvas is vital for realistic painting.

Lessons on Value

'Value' (or tone) means the lightness or darkness of paint within a painting. Learn to recognise and recreate values for paintings. (Values are also known as tones)

Use of Blends and Values

It is through the use of blending and value that objects and spaces take on the illusion of appearing real within a painting. This is because blending and value can be used to mimic the way in which light shines, falls and casts shadows in reality (which after all is what makes the real world visible to us). The Italians referred to a bold use of this as 'Chiaroscuro'.

A use of blending and value is so basic to successful painting that it is difficult to imagine how anyone attempting to make oil paintings could survive without a firm grasp of these skills. Learn to blend and use value and save countless days of wondering why your paintings don't 'look right'. These lessons are a must for beginners, but those with some experience of oil painting can also benefit greatly from instruction in this area, as being able to blend and use values accurately is a common area of weekness and frustration.

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