This entry was originally posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 

The success of a painting is based more on getting correct values than on the colors that you use.

Values are the shades of grey between black and white.

You can buy value charts or you can make your own. This can be done by using your black watercolor paint or by mixing French Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna.

I made my own value chart by first mixing my US into a black and painting it into a rectangle I drew onto my watercolor paper. This will be value 10. Value 1 is the white of the paper.

Then I slowly added water to make it lighter and lighter. Each time I painted more rectangles until my mixture was like weak tea and became a light value.

Then I counted out 10 different values to use for my value scale

(remember 1 is white and 10 is black)

After cutting out my rectangles, I then punched two holes into the each rectangle.

One hole is for a ring to put through and the other hole can be used to compare values.
I will place the hole over my photo then my painting to check if I have the correct value.
It helps to squint your eyes to see if the value matches.
Now you can adjust the value of the painting if it doesn’t match the photo.

Leslie Lambert

Author Leslie Lambert

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