Drawing something white to get a better handle on values is very similar to drawing the figure to get better at proportion. For either one any error or incorrectness shows easily.
Originally I balled up a full sheet of paper and pinned it to my white foam core and almost immediately cringed at the massive amount of complexity in the paper ball. So, I recycled that and cut out a small square of paper and carefully crumpled it so that it had a somewhat balled up shape but was limited in the number of facets showing over it.
Another reason for choosing a ball of paper tonight, besides it’s color, was the fact that man made objects are inherently easier to draw. There is a massive amount of detail in just one leaf on a tree or one pedal of a flower. Hell, almost anything organic is infinitely more complex than anything we could actually make. If you don’t believe me, just look at the back of your hand in a good light and imagine trying to draw all the textures in your skin, plus the color variations, translucency, veins, hair, it could take years to render it perfectly. Then after you were done someone would just ask, “Why not just take a picture?”.
So tonight was a lesson in value for myself, and I’m happy with the outcome.