Drawing on the polyester film was like running my hands across a length of satin fabric. This was the first time I've used it. For the most part I was able to build up fairly rich values, and erase back to a pretty clean surface. However I did manage to create a permanent mark. I think I used too hard of a pencil and pressed too firmly.

value study of digital black and white color over pencil drawing
Digital "paint" over a scan of an early version of the pencil drawing.

As usual, I did value studies before developing the drawing. Here's the one I liked best.









pencil drawing on matte polyester film
Pencil drawing on matte polyester film. I drew the lines on one side and built up the values on the opposite side. Doing this gives me the feeling of more freedom to experiment with the values and mark making without losing my line drawing.

Meet "Jack in the Green". I tried to keep the spirit of the study, the mood, as I worked on the pencil drawing. Here's a shot of the completed drawing. As the project progresses, my plan is to experiment with loosening up and explain less visually.

This experiment isn't my idea. It's based off something Jeff Larson does during his still life painting workshop at The Atelier. I've been wanting to do this for a while. I watched him do something similar during the workshop demo but wasn't able to take the hands on portion of the workshop. So here's my attempt.

Paint is limited in how it can reproduce values. I wanted to explore values and how they need to be adjusted in a painting to create the illusion of value relationships as they are in nature.

I started with the shiny gold ball, then added the matte one, then the deep red one. The idea being that I would have to change the value relationships. What appeared dark on the lighter ball would no longer appear as dark when the darker red ball was added. So I had to adjust the values a bit to get the value relationships to mimic nature.

Holiday Ball Study Start in oil paint
Holiday Ball Study Start

I should have started with the matte finish ball since it doesn't reflect as much light as the glossy one. I would have painted the matte highlight as light as I could. Then if I added the glossy gold ball next, it would have forced me to change the highlight value even more than I did. Oh well. Next time. I did have to adjust the darks though as I added the darker ball. I still got quite a lot out of it: understanding value manipulation, and especially the enjoyment of slinging painting around.

Here's the finished study

Holiday balls oil paint study
Holiday Balls Study done in oil paint on cotton duck canvas.

Have a great new year!