Today, as part of my self-directed art curriculum, I started doing 30-minute sessions of value studies. I picked a bunch of photos on pixabay that have strong lights and darks that will hopefully be good references for mapping out the lights and darks.
This set was a mixed bag — clearly the bottom photo was a more successful sketch of the tones in the image. The photo of the orange is fantastic and has striking lighting. It’s also a simpler subject than the other two.
I set a timer for 10 minutes when I started each sketch, which went by super fast. On the first one I ran out of time, and you can see where the highlights are marked. That composition was way too complex for my first study of the morning! And a good reminder that you can’t look for negative shapes to draw when the frame of the photo isn’t the same proportion as the frame you draw on your paper. Things went all stretched out as I attempted to follow the negative shapes around the edges of the fruit. I should have just left it frameless to start, which is why the next two are frameless.
A different medium for toning would be good to try as well. It took awhile to shade in with the pencil and I’d rather spend more time on the drawing and mapping lights and darks than the filling in of dark and mid tones.
So this 10-minute time limit is either going to train me to look and draw faster, or it’s going to incite frustration and anxiety. My hope is for the former ;)