Confused by color and value

Confused by color and value - student project

 Hi Rachel,

Loved this class and started to attempt my own still life (from a photo) and found as usual I get so confused early on with values and color. I try following along with  - "don't think about color, think about temperature" but find that the values are probably too dark in the beginning. So my brain gets a little lost because the "incorrect" color is distracting. In the end, I put in my brightest highlight to sort of help my perception adjust a little to how dark some of the shadows should be. I'm not sure if I'm doing a good job at explaining where I get confused in the process. So, I find myself guessing a lot at what goes where and then just feel like I'm pushing paint around on the paper instead of making calculated judgements on which stroke goes where. Any advice?

Got so mad wanted to give up, but remembered your advice about how bad the process looks sometimes. I'll try to include the picture I'm working from for reference.

Confused by color and value - image 1 - student project

Also, I feel like when I paint on paper, my colors tend to "turn" a little darker - does this mean I'm not priming it properly? (with clear gesso)

Confused by color and value - image 2 - student project