Bill Martin's Guide to Oil Painting
Using the Darks and Lights Together
CONTRAST is the relationship between the lightest light and the darkest dark on an object or in an environment.
This depiction of the values from black to white is called a VALUE SCALE.
The farther apart on a value scale the values are, the greater their contrast. The closer the values are on a value scale the lower their contrast.
When objects have a HIGH CONTRAST of values they appear close. When their contrast is low they appear farther away. The distant cliffs have a smaller range of values and therefore less contrast than the near cliffs.
The gradual increase in the contrast of objects brings them into the foreground.
An object's cast shadow can be used to indicate distance by its contrast to its environment.
Objects in diffused light have the lowest contrast.
Objects within a cast shadow are always in diffused light. If objects have values from middle to dark, they appear to be in a cast shadow.
If objects have values from middle to light, they appear in a haze or a mist.
CONTRAST CREATES THE TYPE OF LIGHT. High contrast equals bright light. Low contrast equals diffused light, distance, shadow or haze.