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Silver Globe Pitcher: Value Sketch

value sketch for Globe Pitcher
graphite pencil on paper
about 6 x 8 inches

I am working on drawings to prepare my next painting. It will be much larger than my previous paintings, so I am trying to plan out the composition and values before I start. I started by spending some time on this small value sketch. It helped my visualize a feeling for the final painting.

I find my paintings work best if I spend time at the beginning imagining the finished piece as clearly as possible. I try to imagine the feeling it will have. I love the feeling of calm, cool overhead light resting on eye-level objects. I want the painting to feel like you are really seeing them and feeling the quiet.

The sketch only approximates this, but it helps me crystallize the feeling in my own mind.

sketch phase 1

sketch phase 2

sketch phase 3

sketch phase 4

sketch phase 5

sketch final

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Reader Comments (3)

Definitely lots of feeling and texture. Beautiful light.

I spend way too little time sketching and doing studies, and I find it always bites me in the butt in the end. The more studies I make, the better the final work. But it's hard sometimes to resist the pressure to *produce* and have something to show people, just as proof that one is not just doodling around instead of being a productive citizen. The urge is especially strong when I only work on the weekends and every project takes months to complete.

Doing more studies: my New Year's resolution. I'm declaring it up and early :-D

November 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSpatula

Michael Grimaldi says he will make as many as 30 small sketches before he finalizes a composition and starts a painting. He says he spends days or weeks sketching first.

It's horrible to be deep into a panting and only then realize you are struggling with problems that should have been solved earlier and are now too late to fix.

Grimaldi also says to always finish a painting rather than abandon it, even if it has huge problems. He says it will teach you how to paint better in the future.

Now that's true discipline.

November 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSadie Jernigan Valeri

That's kind of what I ended up doing with my ice-cream piece. It was hard to suck and then keep on sucking to the end :-D. But I'm glad I finished it and I did learn a ton from all the problems I ran into. It's really good advice.

If I ever teach, I will always try to make my students feel that it's valuable and ok to take time making mistakes. And that unsuccessful paintings are just as important as the successful ones.

November 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSpatula
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