A noted artist and instructor demonstrates how he lays down a wash, then adds darks and lifts out lights to reveal an expressive drawing.
by Robert T. Barrett
In the process of developing my ability to see values correctly, I became aware that very few things in reality are white or close to white in value. Thus, toning the drawing surface with a “wash” of pastel reduces its value to something more neutral or natural. The halftones and highlights can then be “lifted out” of the wash, and darker darks can be added on top of the wash. I find that working with broad tones is also more expressive, and the process of lifting out tone helps me think more in terms of shape than line. This way of thinking is a bit closer to painting and allows me to establish a full-value drawing very efficiently.