The cut-out effect is the result of photographing the drawing in poor lighting, which made the whole thing a bit grey, then erasing the background area in Photoshop to lighten it.
I’ve sometimes done this on previous posts to clean them up a bit around the corners but it’s more obvious and deliberate-looking here, and I like how the soft grey links the three individual poses together to create an apparent group of figures.
OK time to review – hence the title. I’ve broken through the resistance to describing values, which is important because values are vital to the impact of an image.
Having made this leap it’s clear I need a lot more pratice in this area as these new tonal drawings have an overall mid to light grey value making them rather bland. I’ve heard it said that the work is all in the midtones, but I can definitely get more punchy with the darks.
I could also improve the way I combine line with tone and create more lost edges (where one form blurs into another). There are one or two in this drawing but they are mainly happening in the background…and too often a contour line is interrupting an otherwise nice blend : (
So…do less outlining…improve edge variation…and punch up those darks! And maybe also darken the midtones enough to leave one or two clear highlights…