Thursday, February 13, 2014

Using a Commercial Gray Scale to Recognize Values

I find keeping a  gray scale handy helps when I am painting.  You can make your own as I showed in an earlier blog.  I find making a gray scale made me more aware of the infinite variations of grays.

You may decide to buy a commercial gray scale.  The grays are ten percent gradations.

Another possibility is to use your computer to change your painting to gray scale to get ideas for continuing or to confirm that you have a variety of values in your painting.  Here is an example of checking values by changing a color painting to gray scale.

From color to gray scale

It helps to know the value of colors as they relate to the gray scale.

Here is the same photo but changed to gray scale with the computer.  You can see that the bit of neck surrounded by  the 10 percent gray keyhole is even lighter than 10 percent gray.  The third value down, 30 percent gray is close to the bit of scarf in the keyhole.  That orange is close to 30 percent gray.

Using  value contrast is one key to making a  painting that attracts the viewer.

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