From the Sketchbook: A 3-step Value Scale

Depicting abstract ideas or realistic images in drawings and paintings often employs a system of values. In pen-and-ink drawings, value (or tone) can help evoke the illusion of light (bright or dark), the illusion of color, the illusion of depth (in focus or out of focus), and texture (surface details).

Shown here is one of many of my sketchbook pages where I experiment with ways to show values in an ink drawing. The simplest system is simply black and white (light and dark). The next simplest is a 3-step method with an intermediate middle gray (shown here). In a more complex work, there can be gradual blending of marks to approximate a wide range of tones.

Your assignment:  Try a 2-step example, then a 3, a 4, a 5 a 15.  Have fun.

A value study from the sketchbook. © Fred Montague

A value study from the sketchbook. © Fred Montague

From the Sketchbook: "Drawing Assignment I"

One of a series of exercises that I assigned to students in a field sketching course that I taught dealt with solving an illustration problem, the paradoxical nature of which leads to thinking that creates interesting new prospects.

Here's the assignment: using only straight lines (freehand or ruled) depict on a sheet of paper a circular shape.

After you have filled a page with possible responses, view a few of the ones I thought of.