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3 Ways To Transfer Color To Value, and Vice Versa

"Matanzas Creek Winery View" Gouache on Watercolor Paper. 7x10 inches. PURCHASE HERE

Struggling with transferring color to value, and vice versa?

Here are 3 tips to make it easier and will help you improve in this skill.

1. Squint! There are many reasons to squint while painting, but focusing on value is what we will do here. Squinting will help consolidate all the values/color in one area and group them into a value mass. You can then transfer this shape from your eyes/brain to your canvas. You can transfer the overall color tone in that shape as well. This is a big part of the Establish phase of my ECR method.

2. Take a photo and convert it to black and white. You can even do this out in the field! Take a picture of the scene on your phone, use a picture editing app such as Notanizer and convert it to black and white. Compare this picture to your painting/drawing and see how accurate you are. If you want to take it a step further, take a picture of your painting and do the same. Compare and contrast the two black and white pictures.

3. Create a color wheel, take a picture of it, convert it to black and white. Compare it to the color wheel. This is a lot more involved, but it will really give you a good understanding of your colors. Create a color wheel from your palette (I have templates for students to make this easier). Once it's created, take a picture of it and convert it to black and white. Comparing each swatch to the black and white counterpart will give you an idea of where to use this color in your paintings.

This is just one of the ways I went from not understanding values in a confident way to becoming much better at identifying correct values in the studio and in the field.

If you want to learn more about the color wheel templates I've been creating, it's part of the upcoming course I'm working on. Comment below if you're interested in learning more about it.

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