Keeping a Sketchbook: value studies

This 9 by 12 sketchbook doesn’t travel with me, but stays on my drafting table. The top three sketches were made with a range of pencils from 5B to 5H. What I really needed to punch up the dark values is a super-duper dark, almost charcoal, pencil. So that’s on the art supply shopping list. No matter how many layers I put on, I just could not build up really velvety blacks with my old pencil collection. I don’t like to mix my charcoal pencils with the graphite pencils. They seem to resist each other. The shiny graphite makes a weird base for charcoal. The charcoal just floats on top.
To draw the ducks, my teacher loaned me her darkest pencil. You can see the very dark necks on the ducks are darker than anything in the previous sketches. The finished duckies will star in a future post.
Sketch of fruit

Apple and orange, pencil

Flower sketch

Black-eyed Susan, pencil

Flower sketch

Daffodils, pencil

Sketch of ducks

Ducks, pencil

3 thoughts on “Keeping a Sketchbook: value studies

  1. Loving the quality of these sketches! Impressive. Did you try 9B pencil? One of my instructors uses an ebony pencil for darkest darks. Don’t know what the material is. How do you prevent smearing? Cover with trace paper? Fixative?


    • Hey Anne, my teacher sometimes uses tracing paper to show me what to do by drawing on top of my drawing. I usually just keep my hand out of the way, but thanks for reminding me of the tracing paper option. I did that a bit with the duck drawing. I use fixative when I’m done. I still haven’t gotten really dark pencils


  2. Tried to make comments on your site, but inexperienced with such doings. Really like your site and the paintings/sketches/pastels. Would have loved to have you along on my recent trip. New instructors, good first experience with plein air. The Berthe Morisot exhibit was as good as you said—quite crowded on a Thursday night at Musee d’Orsay. Looking forward to new posts! Robin Anne

    Sent from my iPhone



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s