How to Keep Values Cohesive in an Oil Painting

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One of the most important aspects of oil painting is keeping your values cohesive. Learn how to keep values cohesive in an oil painting with help from a graduate of the Maine College of Art in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Oil Painting Basics
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Abbeth. I'm an artist out of Portland, Maine and I'm going to show you how to keep values cohesive in an oil painting. The key to keeping values cohesive in an oil painting is your palette. You want to make sure to keep your palette clean and organized with your lightest value, in this case white and your darkest value, in this case black on opposite ends of the palette. You also want to mix up a middle tone that's going to be in between these dark and light values. Remember that black absorbs white so for your middle tone you want to make sure that you're adding more white than black and it will probably take a few tries to get this color just right. And when you're looking at values, the best way to make sure a tone is right is by squinting your eyes and looking. Once you have that middle value, then you can begin painting and make sure that you change and keep your turpentine clean so it doesn't muddy your colors and to keep your tones cohesive, you want to be doing a lot of blending with your brush. That will prevent the painting from looking choppy and will prevent the colors from looking too separated from each other. My name is Abbeth and I just showed you how to keep values cohesive in an oil painting.


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