I was sketching my friend Tim last night and it hit me so suddenly, the importance of accurate values. It's way more important than color, proportion, detail or any other aspect to representational painting.
This revelation came at the perfect time to me because I was really struggling with a portrait and didn't know what I was going wrong. I think the roadblock I used to have before was to be almost afraid of making the values too dark. This fear is really impeding because most accurate values are towards the darker value range.
So a simple 3 step process for the painting below that I did was:
1. Start with a simple charcoal outline to get the basic proportions
2. Use a large brush and smudges of more opaque paint with accurate values. Don't worry about details at this stage. (squinting helps)
3. Once the basic forms are in place, then you can add minor details and refine it a little bit more, but don't go overboard and lose the planes.
Two new sketches as we get ready for a north east snow storm. The one sketch is of a cat who was enjoying a drink today from our birdbath and the other is a furniture study of a kitchen chair. I also recently went down to New Brunswick to pick up my watercolors that were in an exhibition. I've hung two of them up to enjoy and remind myself of summer days.
My brother's coming back home today to stay for the three day weekend. I haven't seen him since he took a Christmas vacation with his girlfriend to Hawaii. He's bringing me back some cool stuff like a really nice ukulele and some Hawaiian shirts. Hawaii would be really nice right about now...stay safe in the storm everyone.
As 2019 gets underway, I've decided that this year marks a vast improvement in my own skill level and work quality. Because of this, I am splitting my work from here on into individual years, but 2018 and years prior will be under one category. The period from approximately 2012 - 2018 still had a lot of lesser quality work, but now I see that my work is improving a lot so each year from 2019 onwards will be archived in its own list. I noticed a positive shift in my work's style and quality beginning in the fall of 2018, which I attribute to the large focus I put on my work to distract myself from a lot of loneliness and sadness that I had been feeling. I always try and change negatives into positives.
Make sure to check out all the new work that I've been doing and I'll be posting a lot more as I continue to work.
Just enjoy the act of drawing itself and you'll get good at it. Enjoy everyone!