I was amazed by the work of Ilya repin when I saw one of mark's discussion on the forum,so tried to recreate it with the pencil to understand the values better(as I thought that I might understand values and their importance better if I just draw it in black and white).
I learnt a lot by doing this exercise,specifically:
1.I really understood mark's emphasis on values,"Values are the king".Lightness or darkness of anything or any color can make a huge difference in realism....Color is important,but values come before anything.
2.Do not try to over specify things: this is another point which mark states constantly,I used to over specify things,even though it was not necessary(I always used to be concerned about what if viewer cannot see this part of lip,or nose or the nostrils).this time I did not listen to my voice which was constantly nagging to me to make every feature of the face like eyes or lips darker and make them stand out.I am amazed by the outcome, when I saw the result at the end everything looked alright ....If values are right,everything will fall in place and I don't need to (over)define each and every thing.
3.Some parts of face contain more values than I previously thought,like I used to think of lips and eyeballs as only one value,but they actually comprise of more than one value.
4.Most important lesson I learnt from this exercise was the Importance of steps which mark demonstrates:
It is very important to have subtleness in the values of steps,I did struggle a lot in this pencil sketch while making subtle steps,but it produces amazing results and overall effect of realism when the step is neither too big or too small than previous step.Steps are one of the important things which can really produce 3 dimensional feel to the drawing/painting.
I think doing this really helped me to see different values of the things better than I used to see previously.
That's most of the things I learnt from this exercise,Please share your views and suggestions about it.I will surely try to implement them and to improvise myself.