Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Value Studies

A value study is a great way to prepare for a new painting, and helps ensure that you will get the result you want when you paint your final painting. A value study is a sketch using only one color. Usually it will be smaller than the final painting, and done far more quickly. The advantage of a value study is that you take the focus off of the colors, and put it on placement and values.

I read about value studies many times before I tried it myself. I did one for the first time while at a workshop with Joe Miller. Now I consider it an important step in my artistic process.

I almost always do a value study of some kind for every larger painting, even if it's only with a regular pencil and shading. They're not always pretty, and are usually done very quickly. Pencil value studies, I spend maybe 2-5 minutes. If I paint it, maybe 15-20 minutes.

*Tip- If you do value studies with paint, don't choose a light color on your palette! You won't be able to create values that are very dark with a light color! My favorite choices for value studies in watercolor are ultramarine, burnt umber, sap green, and quinacradone gold.

The pics I have here are some of my favorites I've done. (And least sloppy!) I hope you enjoy them, and find them useful to get you started practicing your own value studies! :)

As always, happy painting! Leave your comments or questions below... don't be shy! I want to hear from you!

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