Someone recently told me about Tom Hoffmann and suggested his blog, so I went and had a look. And boy am I glad I did that! Hoffmann truly is an amazing artist, but what’s more, his blog is like an online learning centre for watercolourists! A treasure trove of painting wisdom! I especially like that he gives assignments which the reader can decide to do whenever they want. I straight away got hooked on the topic of ’seeing in layers‘. The way Hoffmann explains it really helps to think more clearly about values. Values are the backbone of painting representatinally really, and instead of dividing a painting up into value areas Hoffmann suggests seeing the entire composition in layers. The first layer is the biggest one; it defines the lights and covers the midtone areas. The second layer is smaller; it is put on the first one to make a darker value. The third layer which was my last one really is reserved for the darkest value, so this area is even smaller (unless the darks dominate, of course). I used one of Hoffmann’s photos for practise last night. I might have used a fourth layer but got a bit worried that I was being too detailed as it was. A value study is, after all, not supposed to be a painting.