I just finished a new self portrait drawing. As I was drawing it, I realized that the values have to be accurate in order for the drawing to be successful. This applies to all drawing as well as painting. Personally, I think I used to be afraid to make the darks look dark enough, but now I've realized that all the power of art is in accurate value.
A really helpful tip to check your dark values is to squint at your subject and then compare it to your drawing. I don't mean to blur your vision, but to squint your eyes down in order to assess value more accurately. The reason squinting works is because it gives you a more accurate sense of the lighting and thus, the value. It also takes away unnecessary detail and boils the world down to a format that will look good on paper or canvas. Don't be afraid of making the darks darker if they look dark when you squint! And always compare your drawing with your subject!
I'm really excited to announce a new project that I've embarked on called DUO Pencils. Check out our website at www.duopencils.com! The company will be producing double ended drawing materials in a variety of materials from graphite to white media and charcoal. I've always loved inventing and am really proud to have been granted a provisional patent for this.
I'm always reticent about new technology, but my new phone has a camera on it that is really amazing. I've been taking better pictures of my work and trying to replace old photos on my website of work that I still have access to. The trouble is that I don't own most of the paintings that I've done.
Of course, the best thing is to always view fine art in person, which is why I'm constantly frustrated with the inundation of photos in our modern world. My website is a documentation of my own work and not designed to be a replacement for seeing my work in person. But I'm also not going to bury my head in the sand and pretend that websites, cameras and technology doesn't exist.