Monday, 29 April 2013

Learn to draw using value

ball drawingValue

Value is the different tones of color (from white to dark) in an artwork.  

It can be created in two different ways.  The one way using various hatched lines over and over each other that result in a dense mass of lines and so creating different shades of grey.  The other way is by deposits of actual grey tones created by chalk, pencil, diluted ink or paint washes.  An object will always have a lightest value, middle value, a dark - and a darkest value.

Value can contribute to the mood of your drawing and can suggest a broad range of expression.  How you contrast, shape and distribute your values and how the values are arranged can contribute to the psychological mood of the drawing.

Value draws attention to the weight, importance or the direction of a form.  It is a very versatile compositional tool and its use in a drawing is crucial for allowing a viewer to make sense of a form or objects.  It creates a visual diversity and acts as a strong unifying agent.

Most beginners are scared of using dark values and are afraid that once it is dark that it can't be removed.  They limit themselves to using line and rather to experiment with different types of lines than different values.  Drawing with line is excellent but if values are always dodged because of fear of using dark values, it is a shame.  If you are afraid of making mistakes like drawing to dark, start light and use layers and layers until the right dark and light contrasted values are achieved.  But I can't stress enough about how important contrast is.  My art lecturer always use to say, I want to see black and white and grey, not just grey.
Ball with matches
Elements of light

Elements of light

If you are drawing a red apple, you see red and your first reaction is to make the whole drawing grey and maybe add dark tones to create some value.  I can tell you that every object, if it has a solid light source, will always have some white in it.

Every objects has a few elements that one should learn to spot and implement in ones drawings.

1.  Lightest value
2.  Second lightest value
3.  Third lightest value
4.  Darkest value
5.  Reflective light
6.  Cast shadow

The cast shadow is sometimes troublesome for many artists.  It is an important element in your drawing and must not be forgotten.  It has many functions in a drawing.  It can suggest the location of the light source, the distance of the object in relation to the ground, wall or other objects and it can have expressive functions.  

Do your own study on light versus the cast shadow.  Take one object and do different sketches of it, each time with the light source from a different angle or just move the object around while the light source stays the same.  Feel free to send your images to me for some feedback :-) 

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