Sometimes when I become frustrated with my work or simply lack motivation I enjoy going back to the basics. There is something rewarding in rendering a small wooden cube, a value strip or a sphere using graphite, charcoal or oil paint and making the objects look like what they are intended to look like.
In Juliette Aristides book Lessons in Classical Drawing she writes, "Learning to separate light from shadow is an early and critical step for the creating of a strong image."
Every time I attempt to execute these exercises I'm surprised by how much more I recognize the value change.
Although I do feel they are better than the first time I tried them. I always enjoy the practice of looking at the different values in simple objects. I will continue to practice the skill of observing and recording the values I see. Practice makes perfect, right?