Monday, March 10, 2008

The 9 Tone Value Scale

Oil on 9x12 canvas. Another artwork I copied from Marshall Vandruff' collection. I had so much fun doing this artwork ,perhaps because of its comical character and the exagerated features; it got me smiling most of the time I was painting it. It's a limited pallete of nine tones of black and white and mixed. I make it a habit before starting my painting by carefully mixing piles of nine tone value scale on my palette. That way, it makes my life easier on deciding which tone to assign each area and simply work it up by filling it in with paint. Makes sense? I didn't come up with that on my own; I learned it from John Sanden. He added that, as an aid to remember the tones he created a numerical equivalent of each, starting with pure white as #1 and pure black as #9, #5 as the middle tone between 2 extremes. One thing he stressed in his book is to aquaint our eyes on these 9 tones (make your own strip of these values on a white board) by placing these tones against a painting and comparing it as to how the artist used his values. If the painting you're comparing is colored, then think black and white and you'll eventually find its equivalent. It's a work, but, I think, it's truly rewarding.