Lakeshore house, in valuesPosted: December 25, 2013
With a little extra time on my hands these days I can plan my paintings a bit more. I thought I’d post a step-by-step value sketch for a painting I hope to create sometime soon. Doing this schematic really helps me when I get to the painting stage because the composition and values have been worked out, errors can be corrected and potential disasters avoided. That doesn’t mean that every painting works out well, but the chances for success are increased.
The first stage, after the simplified drawing, is to figure out where the whites are and paint the lightest tones around them. I use a big brush, in this case a 1″ flat (on a 6″ x 10″ sheet of paper) so that it’s impossible to get too detailed. I can only paint big shapes with this.
The second step is to paint in the mid-tones, again, in big blocks. I most often use Payne’s grey for these sketches and I try to mix up enough wash on my palette to do this with one pass on the brush. In other words this brush can hold enough wash that I don’t have to dip back into the well at all.
The second to last step is to add the darks. As you can see, my focus in this painting is the top half of the sheet. I don’t want to make this into a checkerboard with little bits of dark and light all over the place. That bottom part of the composition is quieter and leads me into the action.
The final stage is to add the little bits of darkest dark that will sharpen up the value sketch. And hopefully if the final painting is successful I will post it as well.