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Postby warm-wax » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:18 pm

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  warm-wax
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Subject title: value study critiques please

Hello :) so I have been doing anatomy studies for about three years now and I think I'm going to move on to colours soon, so I wanted to do some value studies beforehand. But I don't know much about value studies, so I don't know if I'm on the right track or not. Could I have some critique on these please?

Image
Image
Image
Image

 

Postby Audiazif » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:39 pm

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  Audiazif
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Value studies to me are kind of like the "gestures" of images or that is how I go about starting a value study. You need to simplify and condense the value information. Basically start simple and general and then go more specific and complex if you want. That is one issue I see with these studies, I think you were too caught up in the details and you were distracted from the values. Try to do things while zoomed out or work with a larger brush to make it harder to do detail. Squinting also helps you see the values and not the detail. Another issue that I see is you don't have much "mid tones", you have the dark and the light but not much in between. I think this might just come with practice or this could also be caused by you choice of reference. Maybe try limiting your value range for a little while, limit it to 3 or 4 tones. This will force you to use the value range and help you simplify. I would recommend that you look for better reference or try setting up your own still life and ref. Try to look for ones with more of a range of values and easier lighting. One last thing is these are studies. They don't have to be perfect or look "good". I am not saying you were trying for masterpieces but these are to only to help you see in value. They can be rough and sketchy as long as they are helping you.
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Postby Josephcow » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:16 am

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Audiazif nailed it.

You're on the right track. But I made a little example of a more structured type of study you could do instead.

My thinking is this:

1. draw
2. design.
3. refine

I did a drawing first so that I could focus on the values alone in the next step, instead of spending my time making messy marks to 'feel out' the shapes.

Truly simplifying the subject into 3 or four values helps you much more than just copying the photo corner to corner. This forces you to THINK and see the WHOLE thing in order to simplify the subject into as few shapes as possible. In my second step there are only 7 shapes that you must sort into 3 values. Easy, right? Then you shift the values of the shapes to be in proper relationship with each other. The shadow under the pear was not nearly as dark as the table even though I painted them the same at first.Then you can add the subtle variations you see, and reflected light, and model the forms. But only as much as you feel like, because you are studying value, not rendering. But value and form are so closely linked, that I don't believe you can purely study one without the other.

Use the color picker to help you only after you have made a guess at the value using you eye first. If you check your values after you make an attempt yourself, you will train your eye. If you were to pick the color first and then paint it in you will weaken your eye.

Why do it like this?
massing shapes together into distinct values is an efficient way of replicating an image. But it also is fundamental in designing your own compositions.
I recommend finding simple subjects that can be grouped into a few manageable shapes to be put into relationship. And work from life, too. Value relationships in photos are not realistic.
You are already doing this to some extent, but you are focusing too much on details and breaking up forms before completely establishing the value relationships of the larger masses.
still-life-bowl-art44-light-1.jpg
http://cdn.digital-photo-secrets.com/images/still-life-bowl-art-light.jpg

 

Postby warm-wax » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:33 pm

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I've printed out both the replies to put above my work station. I've also decided to tackle slightly easier subjects (Like vases, game controllers ect) and build back up to portraits. Thank you :D

 

Postby Josephcow » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:14 pm

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good idea! no shame in painting some vases. Good luck!


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