If you have trouble finding values by simply looking at a scene, a value/grayscale finder may be the perfect tool for you! When you purchase a grayscale finder in a store, there are usually 10 values on the card, ranging from pure white to pure black, with 8 gray values in-between. These 10 values are simplified from what our eye actually sees because in reality there are values in-between each gray. By simplifying to 10 values, it is much easier to recreate what you are seeing and still create a realistic piece of artwork.
To use a grayscale value finder, simply hold the value card up to the area in the scene you are painting/drawing. In this example we are finding the value of the water. (Visit the tutorial on how to make your own grayscale value finder, like the one pictured, for free!)
Now squint your eyes so you have 'blurred' vision. This will help you determine the value of the water by seeing which cutout matches the water the closest.
Notice in the example above that the water is the lightest value on the card. We know this because the small circle / cutout in the center 'disappears' on the grayscale value card. You have just figured out the value of the water! Now you can mix your paint, or draw in the correct values for your artwork. Continue on throughout the scene by repeating these steps on different areas of your view.
Making a grayscale finder is very simple and FREE!
- white-black paint chip swatch
- hole punch
- punch a hole into the center of each value on the paint swatch card
- use your new, free, DIY value finder and enjoy!
Diana Multi Pinhole Operator Camera, 6x6in, oil on gessoed board, by Nicole Gelinas, contact me for pricing
I was inspired to create this painting in honor of Film Photography Day (April 12th) and Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (April 27th), both coming up next month!! I have been a big fan of Lomography for years, so I thought this painting would be the perfect combination of all of my interests combined! I used the Diana Multi Pinhole Operator last year on WPPD and loved ever second of shooting with this beauty!