Tone Bars and Shade Wheels - Niki B.

Wow, Lesson Two: Values.

Forget cornering the market on watercolor paper; I’m investing in paper towel companies.What a mess I made!

I did all 12 hues in both Tint Wheels and Shade Wheels. Several had to be done a second time as the transition wasn’t smooth enough, but one gets the hang of it after a while and it went smoother. Perhaps even… meditative!  Still, I found it so frustrating the way that the darker valued hues so quickly descended into blackness. These photos will never show the subtlety of those darkest gradations but, as you know yourselves, they are there.

So, I decided to find out what tones of these hues would look like and made 12 Tone Bars. I was interested in the 50% and the 90% gradations that I tried to mix for the 3rd and 4th step on each bar. I expected to see some pretty interesting colors. And because it was these darker colors I wanted to see, I mixed a gray from our black and our white paints that was about a 65% on the gray scale (based upon a purchased gray scale, not upon my attempt). Oh, I used only the opaque paints for all the hues; I think that helped. And I really love what happened in those 3rd and 4th steps with each hue. With more time it would be fun to try Tone Bars with a 20% gray and maybe an 80% gray.

Finally, I saw this gorgeous painting in "American Art Collector" magazine and was mesmerized by what the artist did with probably a very limited palette . Some of it I “got” from this week’s assignment; the rest will become clear after our next class I’ll bet.

5 Step Tone Bars

Shade Wheels

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