Snapguide

How to draw the reductive value drawing

Draw the Reductive Value Drawing

75
STEPS
TOOLS
Blacken the whole paper with compressed charcoal. This is messy.

Blacken the whole paper with compressed charcoal. This is messy.

This is my recommended compressed charcoal but and soft black charcoal will work.

This is my recommended compressed charcoal but and soft black charcoal will work.

Once coated, smoosh it in with a paper towel or your hands so it is a smooth black.

Once coated, smoosh it in with a paper towel or your hands so it is a smooth black.

Observe a still life of simple shapes with a direct single light source.

Observe a still life of simple shapes with a direct single light source.

Before you begin, observe the still life by squinting your eyes to blur the details. With your vision blurred determine which is the lightest value and which is the darkest.

The darkest value will be represented by the black on the paper, the lightest will be represented by the white of the erased paper. Everything else is a value in between.

All the values are relative to each other. All values of the background, the tables, everything in your field of vision is equally important.

Using your different erasers, begin scraping away to reveal the different values. For this drawing your eraser is your drawing tool and your charcoal is your eraser.

Using your different erasers, begin scraping away to reveal the different values. For this drawing your eraser is your drawing tool and your charcoal is your eraser.

Notice the variations and subtleties of the values.

Notice the variations and subtleties of the values.

Notice the variations and subtleties of the values.

Notice the variations and subtleties of the values.

Avoid using outlines. There are no outlines around objects. Get comfortable with not knowing.

Avoid using outlines. There are no outlines around objects. Get comfortable with not knowing.

Avoid using outlines

Avoid using outlines

Don't use outlines to define shapes. See the differences in value where they meet. If there is no difference, be ok with ambiguity.

Don't use outlines to define shapes. See the differences in value where they meet. If there is no difference, be ok with ambiguity.

Use an abstract approach to understanding the relationships of values.

Use an abstract approach to understanding the relationships of values.

Good use of using value to define shapes, not line.

Good use of using value to define shapes, not line.

You can add charcoal at the end for more definition and contrast.

Messy fun day.

Messy fun day.

This drawing and all charcoal drawings should be spray fixed as soon as possible. See my guide on spray fixative.

  • 18x24 paper
  • Compressed soft black charcoal
  • Plastic Eraser
  • Gum Eraser
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Light source
  • Still life