Theoretically Speaking: Evaluating Values

Theory for the artfully inquisitive mind.™

 When looking at a painting or even making fabric choices,  your eye can be distracted by color making it harder to judge whether you have achieved the needed range of values . Using a “Value Reveal” can bring value inadequacies to light. 
How a Value Reveal™ works
       A Value Reveal™ neutralizes colors allowing you to judge only the values.  Ruby (red) works in most circumstances but Amber (gold) is preferred for soft or pastel elements as the depth of the ruby hue can overwhelm these.  Amber is reserved for lighter values because the amber is less dense and allows subtle values to show through.  To be fully equipped every artist should have both at hand.
    When you place the Value Reveal over your painting everything becomes a single hue (ruby or amber) so values (light to dark) become apparent.  This tool is also handy for identifying values when selecting fabrics for quilts.
        Notice in the illustration how the red overwhelms the pastel painting beneath.  In this case amber is preferred because it clearly shows the values present in the tulips.  You now know where additional values are needed.  

     You can find these tools on  

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