Understanding value – 10 Day Drawing Challenge


Are you ready to start DAY 9 of my 10 day Drawing Challenge? Cool let’s do it!

The theme of today is: Understanding value.

Before I even start, allow me to remind you that these challenges are, well, challenges, and are designed to try and push you out of your comfort zone. You do not have to be perfect, it’s find if you find them difficult, your drawings can be messy, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you understand the principle and do your best. Now shall we begin!

When you are just starting out, the process of colouring your drawing can be really intimidating. I know, I have been there.

There are so many options, not to talk about techniques; and then there is shading and lighting and back lighting… I mean, it just can seem overwhelming. But you know, there is a trick to it, a trick I am going to be telling you right now.

The trick is to MOMENTARILY forget about colours and focus on rendering your images using just value which means using shades of black and white.

A value scale, showing different intensities of grey from black to white.

The idea behind understanding value is that, no matter what colours you want to use to render your drawing, they all rest on a scale of intensity from dark to bright. The problem with colours is that it can be really tricky at the beginning to tell different intensities of different colours.

For example look at this image:

These three colour might trick your brain into thinking they have different values, or that maybe one is brighter than the other when in fact it is false and they have all the same brightness.

So the idea is to focus on shading and gradation of value while MOMENTARILY disregarding colour information just because getting colour and contrast right can be a real hassle at the beginning.

However once you have mastered the idea that contrast or value, really is separated from colour information you are going to be on the road to create stunning illustrations.

So, for this challenge, I’d like you to create and render a drawing just using value or grey tones.

I have prepared a collection of really awesome pencil drawings on my page on Pinterest (which you should totally follow for a daily dose of artistic inspiration by the way) to get your artistic juices flowing. Pictures like these:

When you are done you can  upload your finished drawing in the comment section below for everyone to see (and for me too).

Oh! And don’t forget you can always get in touch with me for ideas or if you are having problems with this challenge.

You can follow and message me on my Facebook page, or you can watch my series of YouTube video lessons and tutorials or you can simply contact me directly.

You are all set! Good luck with Day 9 Drawing Challenge.