Value studies Day 20

It’s finally feeling more like autumn in Phoenix which means roasted veggie season is here! I set up a simple still life of a butternut squash, red onion, and sweet potato and lit it with a single light for today’s value study sketch. I used a square viewfinder to draw in the veggies, trying to keep it very still for more accuracy. In Daily Painting, Carol Marine talks about making sure her elbow is held tight against her side to keep the viewfinder in place and planting one foot so she doesn’t lose her original view. That definitely helped, but…

Value studies Day 19

Today’s value study turned into more of an exercise in using charcoal. I toned my sketchbook page with a stick of compressed charcoal, and then lifted out the light areas with an eraser. It didn’t lift out very cleanly though, so there’s a textured grey tone throughout. I think this charcoal works better for making gestural and expressive marks than a toned background or accurate value definition. While making this drawing, I imagined horizontal and vertical guide lines to see where elements of the bird lined up, which saved me from making the bird tip forward which I’m inclined to…

Value studies Days 10-18

We just spent a week camping in beautiful Zion National Park. When we scheduled the trip for late October/early November, our hope was to see fall color in the trees and we were not disappointed! I don’t think we could have gotten luckier with the timing. I kept up my daily value studies, varying my medium and approach. I’ve been reading a lot of Andrew Loomis books so did my best to apply what he teaches about light and shadow on form, as well as perspective. My favorite value sketches are of my little Pipsqueak and an apple still life: I…

Value studies Day 9

Building off of the success I had yesterday with value mapping, I selected a few color photos to map. The first one was pretty easy because of the limited number of colors. The second one was more challenging because there are multiple colors and some shadow areas I wouldn’t have expected. I tried to really see shadow shapes, rather than naming subjects (inspired by this video by Dianne Mize). The third photo I’m not so sure about…after marking it up it seems like it’s almost all a number 1 value with just tiny bits of darker values. This would be…

Value studies Day 8

The three mug images are photos I took of a simple still life, and the rabbit is from Pixabay. The value scale is a tool by artist and instructor Dianne Mize, who I discovered while researching Notans (available for free download). Today I took a few steps back and did some value mapping as described by Carol Marine in her book Daily Painting (see my review of Daily Painting for more about this awesome book). I printed out a few greyscale images and drew the value zones directly on them. She suggests saving white for highlights only, and giving them a…