In working on this I decided to unify and simplify the values a bit. Below is shown in the swatches a scheme with 5 basic values. Coming up with the palette required a bit of tonal shifting, but it did overall brighten and clarify things up a bit.
Here is a second drawing from the same session. Again the version at the bottom is reworked.
The value scheme is brightened a bit separating and distinguishing the tones a bit allowing the image to look less muddy, brighter and more clarified.
This is really a pretty pathetic attempt at a conte drawing. I really need more practice with the traditional media again.It is always a bad idea to begin to add white before mastering the use of the dark. Also, I chose a paper that didn't give much dynamic range against the red/brown that is a mid-range value as well.
This although a good project, is taking an unnecessarily long time, because I did a complete monochrome value study in full detail when my intention was to make it a color finished piece. The lesson for hard-heads like myself it that details are completely irrelevant when doing a value study that is to be the foundation of a color work. The time spent can not only be wasted labor, but can be an impedement to further progress because you are slavishly trying to reproduce monochrome detail and are coloring in the lines instead of being engaged with seeing the subject.
Take your value study only so far, build on its frame and then abandon it to progress in color.
Do not start a painting like this example directly below. It is just ridiculouisly stupid. For one thing my proportions are off to begin with and I am allowing myself to build a disproportionate and wrong course that I could occupy far too much of my time working on. Only after much effort do I discover that I have lead myself astray.
Instead, take your value study only as far as below and work with tones instead of lines or details. If you must use lines to establish a most basic framework seriously limit yourself to less than ten lines to do so. That's just a random number, but seems like an appropriate limit. More effort is wasted effort.
Last night we had Beth of Los Flamencos pose for us. I decided to go with charcoal which was something that I had not done in a while. This was to be a long pose, but to begin with we did two 5 minute poses. I took the opportunity to do some digital sketches.
My brush settings in Brushes 3 look a little different her as I asked my friend Michael Anderson what his recommendations, or favorite settings for brushes were. Michael is very good wit the digital mediums. Below is a screenshot of those settings. I will play with these and see how they work for me. I think it is a good setting that seems to mimic an actual brush well. Michael uses the Sensui Brush, so together they probably work quite well. I on the other hand tend to just use my fingers.
Here is a quote and a screenshot thanks to Michael:
it kill Brushes 3 to give them names btw? I adjust the menus & size
it to give it the painterly brush effect. Pushing the Jitter &
Scatter sliders a bit farther will create a random paint drops which are
cool too! Specific settings in attached screen shot."
And lastly, my return to charcoal after a long neglect of the medium is below. I have a bad habit of wanting to fill in the background completely. In this case it might have been better to take the approach of focusing on the form and grounding it lastly with little hints of the background. These are things that are learned after using different tools for some time. How then might it also effect my approach in the digital realm? Do I also focus too soon on background in an attempt to fill the space? It's something to be conscious of.