Value drawings aim to depict objects in terms of light and shadow. In order to depict light and shadow in a realistic three dimensional manner artists use a value scale starting with black, ending with white and covering all the gray tones in between. Through the use of different values artists create the illusion of three dimensional space.
One of the best tips from my instructor was to look at the subject you are drawing and squint your eyes. By squinting your eyes you can simplify your subject and see past the complicated details. This little trick helps the artist achieve a more accurate drawing.
In this particular art class the instructor pinned several stuffed animals on the wall and shone bright flood lights onto the still life. We started off with a piece of paper evenly coated in willow charcoal. From here we had to add in darker values with more charcoal or subtract the lighter values using an eraser.
I really enjoyed this process and I feel like drawing is getting more manageable and less intimidating. I enjoy value drawing much more than line drawing. It comes more natural to me and feels more like an art and less like a science. I still need more practice but I have learned a lot so far.
I choose to draw a stuffed dog. It reminds me of this stuff dog my sister had when she was a kid. His name was Mutsy.