Tuesday Tips and TricksIt's been such a gray winter in Chicago that I’ve been seeing the urban landscape not in terms of color but as patterns and shapes created by light and shadow. As a sketcher it's made me more sensitive to value. Value, a.k.a. tone, is defined as the lightness or darkness of a color in relation to a scale from white to gray to black.
Making a Value Scale
- Draw six (or as many as you choose) blocks about one inch wide.
- Leave the first one blank/white. Shade the last one as dark as possible.
- Fill in the remaining boxes to show the gradation from the darkest dark to pure white. For this scale I used a 2B pencil since that is what I often use when I sketch.
Using a Value ScaleCut the scale out and take it along on your sketch outings. Hold it up to your subject and check the accuracy your perception of the tones you see. (Hint: Squint to help simplify the values .)
Which of these center gray squares is darker?
How we see the value of a color is effected by values around it. Using a value scale can help clarify what is actually in front of us. The center grays are exactly the same.
The Value of Values
- When a painting seems lifeless or dull, or just a little off, it’s frequently because the values aren’t correct.
- Rendering values will add dimension and light to your work.
- Color can be a personal choice but the lightness or darkness of that color must be on the mark.