We are about to dive deep into one of the most valuable paint mixes in our arsenal. This value string will become a huge tool as we go along. In fact, we will be using the Neutral Grey Scale in the upcoming Lessons 9 to 13.
Before we start, I want to share with you an apparatus that will help you to ensure that your Neutral Grey Scale is correct in both value and whether there is enough of the Raw Umber mixed into the Bone Black.
It is called a Munsell-Accurate Value/Grey Scale for Artists. A fellow named Paul Centore created it and sells it through eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/223003792036
What are the properties that make this tool something I would recommend for any artist to get? Well, let me tell you. It has a ½ step value range from Neutral (N) 9.0 to N1.0. It is plasticized so that you can put your paint right on it to compare the value to and it wipes off easily. There are holes in each of the value steps. This allows you to place it over an object and find the right value (as long as you squint) of what you are looking at.
Before we start mixing paint, draw the 3 grids for the value scales on the inexpensive watercolour paper that you have bought from the craft area in a local store. This will become the chart you can place in your binder.
With the palette paper placed in landscape, we will start with making a value string with Titanium White and Bone Black from Value 9 to 1 at the top of the page. The paint comes out at Value 0.5 directly out of the tube. This string is a low chroma blue. If you added it to another colour without neutralizing it, you would also change the colour rather than changing the chroma only.
The second value string will be placed at the bottom of the palette paper using Titanium White and Raw Umber. Again, we will do it from Value 9 to 1. Raw Umber has a value of 2 right out of the tube which means to get to Value 1 we need to add a small amount of Bone Black to complete our string.
Surprisingly we have made our colour mixing life much easier by doing these value strings as we come to the next step of putting both paint combinations together. Take a bit of the Bone Black V9 and place it in between the two strings on the palette paper. Add a small amount of the corresponding Raw Umber V9 and mix. Test against the Munsell-Accurate Value Scale until it matches the value and the colour of the N9.0 square.
Proceed with the rest of the values doing the same testing until the Neutral Value string is mixed.
Now we need to make larger amounts to fill these small containers, that way you don’t have to spend extra time each of the next 5 lessons mixing the Neutral Grey Scale again and again. I would recommend that you start with Value 9 make a big puddle of each and then bring them together and place them in the container. This means that if the container is filled and there is more paint mixed already, you can add more of the Bone Black and Raw Umber into their corresponding piles and bring the value down to Value 8 and so on and so forth until you have done the whole scale.
Yellowknife watercolour and acrylic artist Shawna Lampi-Legaree’s latest venture can best be summarized as capturing moments of beauty from the world around her.
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