John Singer Sargent Study – Member Critique

John Singer Sargent Study – Member Critique

Arjun is a current member of Drawing Tutorials Online. Not only is Arjun a member but he contributes to the site on a weekly basis. His questions always stir up great conversations. 

He is always working at his craft of digital painting using Procreate. Arjun also signed up for my One Month Coaching where he really jump-started his progress. Arjun is a tireless artist devoting countless hours into improving his technique.

Arjun utilizes the member critique gallery on a weekly basis which is part of his weekly ritual for constant improvement. In this digital portrait painting, Arjun worked on a study of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw painted by John Singer Sargent in 1892.

Studying the great masters is a great way to learn. In this critique, I share with Arjun the importance of seeing shapes of value. These shapes represent the different surface planes on Lady Agnew’s face. The key takeaway from this critique is how to see the shapes of value, then shading them in their appropriate value.

One of the most important jobs of the portrait painter is to shade shapes in a sold way. If you have the time I would suggest working on a study of Lady Agnew the same way Arjun did. Do your best to squint to see the different values placed around the face. It will certainly help you to improve your portrait painting.



Check out Arjun’s website. Thanks again Arjun for sharing your art.


Creating A Simple Value Structure Study

Creating A Simple Value Structure Study

What is one of the best techniques you can put into practice in order to create a powerful image? Creating a value study. Taking five minutes to create a simple three or five value study will do wonders for your image’s integrity.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the details, the textures that we forget to organize a simple value structure. I recommend creating a value structure study in your sketchbook with a soft 2B mechanical pencil. It should take you less than five minutes to complete.

Try using just three values to start off with. A dark, middle tone and light is a great way to create a three value study. If three values is too limiting for you try creating a five value study. The reason for this is to see if your image is working before you actually get to your final. Do your best to shade in the values as solid as possible. 

One of the worst feelings is when you are hours into creating your art only to see that your image might look too muddy. Trust me I’ve been there before. Plus creating multiple value studies will provide you with options.

Take a moment to watch the video below.



Thanks so much Simon for uploading your artwork to our member Critique Gallery! Keep up the good work.