Monday, May 24, 2010

Value Scale – The Drawing Board

Value Scale 2010

If you recall, Value is the degree of lightness or darkness of a color. White is the lightest, or highest, value; black is the darkest, or lowest, value.

Pencils I use in a drawing: 4H, 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 6B, 8B, and Ebony.

The H (harder) pencils are used to create the outline drawing. I sometimes us a “2H” pencil to smooth out the texture for the mid-tones.

The B (softer) pencils are used to create shadows in the drawing. I usually start all my drawings with a only the “B” pencil. Each person has a different hand pressure, so test your pencils to see which ones work best for you.

If you want to create your own value scale, email me at Please put Value Scale in the subject line. I will send you a copy of this form.

You can also create your own value scale with a ruler and your drawing paper. Make 5 squares, 3/4” w x 1/2” h for each pencil value.

Instructions for creating a value scale: You will want to sharpen all your pencils. The objective of the value scale is for you to get used to your pencils and what they can do for you. As you go down the sheet, the tonal differences that each pencil makes are the “values”. Starting with the “4H” section, Box 1, press as hard as your can while filling in the area. Box 2, press a little lighter. Box 3, lighter still. Box 4, press a lightly as you can. Box 5, leave white. If you are left-handed, you will want to start with Box 5 and go from the lightest to the darkest. Go on down the sections with each different pencil. Remember, the “H” pencils are very light, the “B” pencils are darker. You won’t notice much change in value with the “H” pencils. Once you get to the “B” sections, you will start to notice a difference. You will find that softer pencils will need sharpened more often than the harder pencils.

Now for the goods: I am giving away a set of Staedtler Lumograph Drawing Pencils! Only comments made on my website’s blog, Valerie Jones Art will be accepted.

Staedtler Lumograph Set of 12

Make a comment on my blog at Valerie Jones Art about your drawing experience between now and Tuesday, 12:00pm CST. A random winner will be announced Wednesday, May 26th.

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