Dear Mr. Swinton: Regarding your 10 Tips for Outdoor Painting

"The more vertical the object the darker in value it is."

Dear Mr Swinton

Regarding your 10 Tips for Outdoor Painting...

Could you give me an example in one of your paintings that might explain "The more vertical the object the darker in value it is." I am having trouble envisioning this.

Linda Tanaka Lethbridge

Thanks for the question Linda.

It's based on the laws of value planes. The flatter something is, the more light it receives. The more vertical something is the less light it receives.

Usually the sky is the lightest value in a landscape.

The flat ground planes are next lightest.

Hills are are always darker in value than flat ground planes.

Uprights, such as trees, fences and telephone poles, are darkest.

Trees for example tend to get lighter as they round around to the top. The tops of trees tend pick up a little of the sky colour as they lighten.

Notice how even the trees in the distance are darker than the the flat ground.

Notice how the sky is lightest then the flat ground, the hills or mountains are a mid dark and the trees are the darkest in value.

Hope that helps you and others too. Leave a comment below.


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