Value Study

Cheap Joe's Test Studio: Value Study

Joe Miller demonstrates how he takes value studies and prepares them to be used as a guide for a watercolor painting. Here is a transcription for those that can't turn their speakers up:

Hi, it's me again, ol' Cheap Joe and today I'd like to show you how I do value studies to then take them onto a watercolor. Most people don't like doing value studies I know or little sketches with value in them, but I love them. They're so much fun to do and I have books and books filled with them. I think you will really like them. There are a couple of little things that I learned that I think can help you enjoy it also.

This is a study of a little house that's very close to where I live. It's the same house done in six different value studies with six different light directions. This one is just an outline of that same thing. And this is a 2B Cheap Joe's Pencil, actually its 3B, it says so right here. I simply decide first number one I will define my space. So I will actually draw around where my painting is going to be. I may come on down here like that; I may crop it out a little bit. Then the second thing I decide is "where is the light coming from"? And I'm going to show you that. I'm going to say the light is coming from this direction right here. That will help me a lot. Then I begin to put in the value and I want three values in this thing. I hold this pencil just like this and simply start putting in that value keeping those pencil marks together. I don't want this, that's not value. This is value right here. And then after I get this value in like that, see already you can begin to see this little house jump out of there because of this value. And all the time that I'm doing this study, this value study, I'm thinking "watercolor". What brush? What color? What value here? So I keep on putting in this value until I get it completed.

I've added a little value in the background trees here the foreground. Now since the light is coming this way, I'm going to show you that the light is coming this way by simply adding some value in here that will show us some shadows that will be cast by the roofline. See all of this will have some shadow coming down. Already you can begin to see where the light is coming from. And then I'll ad a little detail in the windows in here. A little detail here and there, maybe a little more detail right there on the roofline coming out that way. And perhaps I want to add a couple of trees to show you that these really are. Maybe a fence coming down over here, maybe a fence comes this way and leads us into the painting. That's the way, even this little mountain back here, I could put some value in it because it's going to have some value in it and I can just simply be careful. Now this takes a little practice getting used to. You can take a credit card and hold on the edge right here or a little piece of paper and that will keep your value from going into what it is that you're protecting there like that. If I get too much in there I can go back and erase some of it out. This happens to be a plastic eraser on this Cheap Joe's pencil which won't scar the paper and works very nice.

Well that's how I do value studies and they're so helpful because once I've done the value study I will use it to be my guide to take onto the watercolor. If I'm using a photograph, I find that the photograph just simply screams and yells and dictates to me that I do it just like the photograph and I really can't do that anyhow. So with a value study I can choose my own colors, I can choose the light direction, it's just so much fun. Start it, I think you'll love it. Thanks for your business, tune in again.

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