Monday, May 23

A Simple Painting Tip - Squint!

A Motif I'm Considering to Paint (& Squint At)
Squint—that is what we’re told to do as we paint. Squint, Squint, Squint, and squint some more!

My eyesight isn’t all that great to begin with, so I feel as if I’m naturally squinting all the time anyway. But squinting as you paint is not the same thing.

It means you should step back from your work, scrunch up your nose a little bit, make your eyes into little slits and really squint at your work.

What on earth? Well, there is both rhyme and reason for doing this seemingly idiotic gesture while you paint.

It allows you, your eyes, and your brain to determine the values in your work better than merely looking at it. By squinting, you sort of “gray” everything down in your vision so that there is better contrast between the lights and the darks.

In theory this should help you see (and paint) the correct values more easily.

You can accomplish the same thing by taking a black and white photo of your motif and then printing out a copy. The darks, lights, and grays will all become more obvious than in color.

Or you can just squint.

If you’re not doing this already, then give this painting tip a try and see if it improves your natural painting abilities.

Happy Painting!

1 comment:

  1. Squinting works because it reduces the amount of light entering the eye. In low light levels, the visual system relies primarily on the more tonally sensitive "rods" than the hue sensitive "cones". You can also view the painting from the corner of your eye where rod density is higher than cone densities, i.e. use your peripheral vision. I also use a tool called a "dark mirror", a small piece of glass painted with black on the back-side. Hue is repressed in the reflected image.