VALUE STUDIES

value study farm house

Before you start a painting work a value study. A value study helps you resolve problems before you start the main painting. This study illustrates the shapes that will make up the paintings composition and will also give you a blue print to the value of every shape from 1 (the white paper) to 5 (the darkest dark). When drawing a value study use a soft pencil such as a 4B or 6B to produce the values. The medium of pencil is the nearest to a transparent watercolor as pencil is a transparent medium too. You could also work a value study with gouache paint utilizing white and black and mixing the greys in between. Generate the value study is identical to the order in which you will carry out the painting.

Pencil you can lift the marks of the pencil by erasing as like non-staining watercolor pigments after the painting is dry you could also lift up the color. Once I’m satisfied with the value study, I have a familiar with the subject and can concentrate on my color scheme after I have my composition drawn on my watercolor paper. Working a few thumbnail sketches with different lighting directions is very helpful on working a final composition.
A very important question is “How do you transfer the sketch to the watercolor paper?” When you have a competed drawing that you want to paint I use a Xerox copier to enlarge to the size I want and transfer the drawing to my paper using tracing paper. On site I might just start directly with paint this depends on the subject of the piece and I prefer working loosely instead of tight. If the composition is complicated, I will draw lightly with pencil directly on the paper to indicate major shapes of the composition.

value study trees

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