working on values

  • Sketch in progress. I think I'm happy with the overall picture/story but I've just listened to Painting with color and I'm working on values. Can I please have some eyes critique this as far as the values are concerned? Is there enough contrast here to make a dynamic painting.. it seems I have to push the darks or add more darks...but where should that be..nooks and crannies? Or larger areas. I've looked at it too long today. Any critique is appreciated. This is for a book and I want it to be Perfect. 🙂

    0_1519522843814_stinkytoesvaluesketchsvs copy.png

  • I have trouble with values myself but the only suggestion I have is to darken the shadows to make the foreground pop out more.

    I had trouble seeing that the sitting bear was holding his paw as the leg and arm blended together. Same with the cat behind the small bear.

    The great thing with digital is you can duplicate and keep pushing the drawing and still go back to your original.

  • Thanks for that @jimsz I appreciate your comment. I did see that as soon as I sized it down to put in here! Good tool to remember..make the image smaller. I suppose that's a tick for doing those boring little thumbnails before you even begin.

  • SVS OG

    I did a quick paint over (It might not look right sorry I'm on a laptop with horrible viewing angles and only a mouse to paint with)
    I took you darkest value and put it in the middle of this scale from black to white. You have tons of value range to play with yet. With just two small things you'll be able to make a huge difference first.

    occlusion shadows- Paint the cracks where the light can't get in under the arms and where the bear touches the ground. Just a thin little crack of your darkest value.

    Cast shadows The directional shadows the light is casting these will have harder edges.

    Just doing those two things and getting a few more darker and light values in there will help a bunch. 0_1519687453659_Svs-learn-help.jpg

  • My advice would be to make about 4 copies of your sketch and do some 5 minute quick studies on different light situations. It seems that you have worked with such a small range of values that you are limited in what effect you can achieve. Everyone goes about painting lights and shadows differently, but for myself, I like to cover everything with gray (dark or light depending on the piece) and then sculpt the objects by choosing my main light source and then slowly bring out the form by either adding lighter or darker grays. Your bounce lights and secondary lights should be added later when you have the first forms figured out.

    On this piece i'm guessing the light is coming from above due to a few irregular cast shadows, but there is no form shadow and the highlights are in awkward places. Think of everything in basic shapes and how they would react to light, the arm as a cylinder, the head as a sphere etc.

    I think they already talk a lot about it in the "painting with color and light" video where Jake Parker paints the bedroom scene, so that would be a great video to re-watch and practice again and again until you understand how light work.

    So try this:

    1. Create a few copies of the line work (zoom right out)
    2. put a 50% gray on everything (or lighter or darker)
    3. Choose where the main light is coming.
    4. add in your cast shadows with a darker gray (don't go too dark, but be confident in putting them down)
    5. start with a lighter gray to slowly build up your forms dependent on the direction of the light (be careful not to go too light)
    6. add in your darker form shadows and occlusion shadows.
    7. add in bounce lights

    All of this should only take 5-10 minutes. If it's taking longer then you are probably focusing too much on the details. Keep it fast and loose and if it looks terrible start on the next one. I use to waste so much time trying to work on a piece that was never going to get better because the initial layout was wrong to begin with.

  • @evilrobot Fantastic're right those helped immensely. Occlusion shadows are kind of magic aren't they! ...thank you for taking the time!

  • @gary-wilkinson why oh why does it always comes back to the grunt work? 🙂 Sound advice..Thanks Gary, I will watch Light and shadow again. I tend to just listen as I work and much is lost that way because you're not entirely focussed. Thanks again for such a detailed response..much appreciated!

  • SVS OG

    @djlambson I think you could add some interest by making their clothes a different value. I don't know which bear you prefer as the focal point, but whichever it is, that bear could be wearing a much darker garment.

  • I too need to work on values, i now find myself asking the question "have i been brave enough with the values" when adding colour to a piece now. And by that i mean could i make the darks darker/lights lighter?? Whats great with digital is that you can play with that and not have to start from scratch like you do in Traditional lol
    Just be 'Brave' try things out and see what you like the looks of.... oh and take breaks! If you get to that point again where you stare at it too long, maybe its time for something else (in my case, its time for bed)

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