When you sit down to do a painting study, do you just jump in or plan in advance?

At the beginning, I used to plan, plan, plan and then by the time it came to painting, I’d lose interest.  I tried just jumping into the studies, but found that I wasted so much time.

Over the years, experimenting with students, if you know the core foundation of a technique, you can jump in and just started.

For this particular painting study of woman’s lips, let’s focus less on colour and focus more on values (lightness and darkness).  With a good value painting, we know that it’s NOT going to look flat.   

Creating a value based painting study is simple… one colour, plus black and white.  But wait… let’s make it even easier… let’s make Chromatic Black, tint it so it’s a bit more violet. With that mix, we only use white to lighten.

Using this method, the painting should be able to stand on it’s own without any other paint colours.  But if you should want to tint it down the road, because it’s a value study with Chromatic Black, you can add a tint of pinks without losing any of the brush strokes underneath.