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Value Scales

What it is:

This series of exercises is made up of value scales done in different mediums. In each medium, we will produce value scales in a number of steps from light to dark.

Since each medium has a different value range, we will make scales with different numbers of steps in each medium.

  • Graphite has the narrowest range from light to dark, so we produce three and five step value scales in graphite pencil.
  • Charcoal has a broader range, but not quite as broad as paint. We’ll produce three and five step value scales in charcoal, together with some fine gradations from light to dark.
  • Paint has the widest available range of all our mediums. Although you can use acrylic or oil paint for this exercise, I’d recommend oil. Acrylic paint tends to change value more than oil when it dries, making values a little harder to predict. But either will do fine. We’ll produce nine step value scales in paint.

Why we’re doing it:

The goal:

  • To stretch and develop our ability to judge values against each other
  • To gain fine-grained control of value in a variety of mediums
  • To produce a balanced value scale that we can use in further value exercises

How to do it:

The Value Scales exercises progress through three mediums, each a little more difficult and with a wider value range:

  1. Pencil
  2. Charcoal
  3. Oil or Acrylic (Coming Soon)