Value Sketching

Cheap Joe's Artist Tip: Value Sketching

Adapted from Palette Magazine
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Value graphic 1

The number, shape, proportion, and placement of your lightest values are important considerations when planning a painting. To help make design decisions more easily, try using a medium-gray marker pen to shade all but the lightest areas in your sketch.

Value Graphic 2

Toph often "pulls" his light areas out of the sketch to check their shape and distribution throughout his design.

Valule Graphic 3

When painting on location, keep your value sketches small and simple. You don't need to record a lot of information and detail, if your subject is right in front of you.

Value Graphic 4

Always draw a box around your value sketch in the proportions of the paper you are going to paint on; or, tape your paper off to fit the proportions of your sketch. And remember, you don't always have to use a half-sheet or full-sheet format; a long,thin format or square format might make a more interesting design.

Value Graphic 5

You can explore design possibilities in a value sketch. For example, try reversing values to create new design possibilities. In the sketches above, Skip reverses the order of the middle and dark values on his figure to create different effects.

Valule Graphic 6  


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