I did a painting today to demonstrate a couple of key important points.
Firstly whether your work is painted in high key or low key, make sure you keep the areas of shadow or light limited to a few large areas. Try to stay away from having to many small unattractive areas of light or shadow as this usually leads to an overly busy work of art.
Secondly, be mindful of what the abstract shapes in your work of art look like. Try to see in only a couple of values. Or if you are working from photographs, you may alter a photo on any photo editing software to render an image in two values. By doing this it allows you to see how beautiful the underlying shapes are. This will usually lead to a beautiful work of art. I will address this in a future post in more detail.
Even though my work is a quick gestural study it has strong lines as well as a well defined light and shadow areas. Interestingly enough I might use this as a reference for a future larger studio painting.