Translating Value Sketches

If you squint your eyes or use amber-colored sunglasses, you can break down the landscape to about three values —a light, a mid-tone and a dark. Most people, in the beginning, tend to overestimate the number of values they see in the landscape. Naturally, there are more than just three values, but the simpler you indicate your sketch, the easier it will be to translate your value sketch into a drawing when you get back to your studio.

Using the value scale on the previous page, make a simplified line drawing of the scene before you (as shown in sketch A). Then indicate the values using a numeral or a letter to key one to the other. The basic rule is to simplify.

Sketch B shows how your value diagram translates into a value sketch, using just the limited six-value scale. Compare this to the finished drawing at bottom.

Mountain Squall

41/2" x 61/2" Graphite on 2-ply Strathmore bris-tol.

The finished drawing shows the values and details that were added with the help of my two sketches and memory.

Diagram Drawing Scale RuleDrawing About Nature ValueValues From NatureDrawing About Nature Value

Sketch B tells you that it is still a bright day, but more toward late afternoon. Notice that the lighter-value bales of hay have become more prominent.

In sketch A, there is a predominance of light values in both foreground and background, creating what could easily be a bright, summer day.

Sketch Dusk

A value placed in the sky changes the placid summer day of sketches A and B to a possible storm approaching, or to late afternoon.

A value placed in the sky changes the placid summer day of sketches A and B to a possible storm approaching, or to late afternoon.

Dusk is upon us. In all four sketches, my three "grounds" remained the same. Only my values changed to create various times of day and different atmospheric conditions.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
How To Become A Professional Pencil Drawing Artist

How To Become A Professional Pencil Drawing Artist

Realize Your Dream of Becoming a Professional Pencil Drawing Artist. Learn The Art of Pencil Drawing From The Experts. A Complete Guide On The Qualities of A Pencil Drawing Artist.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment