Welcome to Part 2! Let's continue to play with value. Here are some ways to get started:
Getting it right: actual gray 5!
I tend to mix my middle gray chart darker than it should be. When we look back at this month's first post you can see that I leaned too heavily into the blacks for my intermediate mixes. One way to know for sure where a value lands is to use a value finder. I picked this one up at my local art store for $3. Here's how it compares to the scales I made by eye.
You can actually buy Gray 5 (the 5th value on a 10 step value scale- so it's slightly darker than the midpoint between white and black) which I did!
If you have gray 5 you can use it to estimate that middle value, and then make mixes with white and black to get a nice, even range.
You can begin to explore value based sketches without getting too concerned with perfect accuracy. Often, just getting it into lighter, darker and middle categories is plenty. Here I made a couple of dog sketches using back ink, diluting it a bit with water. Even though both images have no color, and are rendered in very simplified value scales, the ideas come across.
I also like to swap out the black paint sometimes for another dark color. In the image below, I am working with ultramarine blue and white acrylic paint. Doing monochromatic paintings is a great way to explore value, and they are easy to go for on the road. You just need one paint or colored pencil and you're set.