This week we did a value study, a study of the lightness and darkness of a color independent of its hue and colorfulness.
Our first step was to do a thumbnail sketch with charcoal to show the areas of light, dark, and in between. Here is my thumbnail sketch of the still life with three plums, teapot, and vase.
Then we used the thumbnail and transferred it to the canvas with charcoal. When you make a mistake, it's easy to rub it out. Do not blow away the crumbs, because the whole drawing will disappear; I learned that the hard way. When the drawing was on the canvas, I sprayed it with fixative.
Next I used burnt umber: pure pigment and mixed with white in several tints. Then, working from the thumbnail and the still life itself, I worked on a monochromatic value study. It's a work in progress, and I haven't finished it.
I have also discovered that I paint like dad used to eat red chile. "Dad, you have chile on your neck." Even wearing gloves and an apron, I manage to get paint on my elbows.
Oil painting is hard work.