The Value of Value: A few words from Anni Albers

I’m still painting with the watercolor paints I made with dried indigo leaves. (I got the powder from Slow Fiber Studios). I find coloring in the squares immensely fun! Here is a finished painting using three values of the same color: dark, light, and medium blues. It’s fun figuring out what value (shades) go where. Value in color theory means how dark or light a color is.

I found a scrap of a note from a book by Anni Albers. It says page 221, 222 but I can’t find the book in my library. I hope someone can find it. She says, “It’s the middle color that’s important/interesting.” Here I show my painting without the middle (value) color. It’s just black and white. I think the picture is much more interesting with the middle colors as Anni says. Her quote inspired my paintings since I’m just working with different values of blue paint.

Here is the Star Fashion version. I think the medium blues do enhance it.

Here is a version of the rose version after I’d painted in only the darks and lights. However, if you consider the white paper the very light, you can see that the light blue becomes the “medium” value and does make it pretty interesting. Much better than only the dark and light seen in the second photo.

9 thoughts on “The Value of Value: A few words from Anni Albers”

  1. It is like piecing quilt squares to find the one with most impact! Playing with the degrees of of contrast is so important and just as fun (necessary) in knitting. In knitting, even more than in weaving sometimes, the way the fiber colors interact can cause substantial differences in what we see in the end product.

  2. Just checked On Weaving – there are 80 pages of text and 112 plates photos and diagrams, and at the end 204 pages.

    Must be another book

  3. The new edition of On Weaving (2017) does have pages numbered 214-233 in an essay by Manuel Cirauque, “The Two Faces of Weaving.” Might this be what you were reading when you jotted the note to yourself? He does quote Albers, but I’m not seeing those exact words. Maybe it’s worth a look nevertheless.


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