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Updated: Feb 6, 2020

Successful Artwork has a Full Range of Value

Artworks that exhibit a full range of value are generally successful. It doesn't matter the type of art you are creating. As long as there are dark values in harmony with light values, your artwork will most likely be aesthetically pleasing. A full range of value means that they are ample amounts of light values- called tints, and dark values- called shades. To be sure that you have a full range of value in your artwork you may create a value scale...

Using a value scale, you can be sure that you create a full range of value. Many artists use a value scale as they work, identifying specific values and adding them in appropriate spots.

Take this still life for example

If we were to take out all the color, we would still see the hula girl, rope and fabric and recognize it as these items. In other words, we are just showing the values of the image...

This illustrates how an artist would see the values and begin to draw with them.

Another useful tool is called a value finder. A value finder allows an artist to find specific values on a photograph or drawing easily.

You will be filling this one out so you can practice shading and have your own.

Now that you have your shading and value down!

Set up a still life with shoes, kitchen utensils, your favorite things....I set one up in my classroom with random things I had laying around.

Turn off the class room lights and turn on the spot light to create dramatic lighting! You can move it around as you take your photos!

 Snap about five to ten shots of the still life. Get close ups, it can be abstract, find an angle you love!!! Make sure you have good composition. Once you have taken your shots go into the editor and remove the color. Do any light adjustments at this time.  

Here are some I took as examples for my students!

Now it's time to draw! You can free hand it or use the grid drawing method!

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