Converting Your Inks to Value Numbers on the Grayscale

Learn how to arrange the inks you have into a range of values.

Values are critical to getting your painting to look realistic. We begin to study values in the Level 2 class. Once you have determined the values in your reference photos you need to figure out how all of those inks you have translate into value numbers.

color rings


I take each of my inks and put them on a little piece of photo paper and punch holes in them so I can arrange them by hue (color).  I have a separate ring with all of my colors by value.




For this example I laid out all of my green color chips:


Then I laid gray scale match the grayscale sheet on top of each chip to assign a grayscale number.  It’s not always easy, but if you do it a few times you’ll get quicker at seeing the values and organizing your colors.


Here are the green color chips arranged by grayscale value from darkest to lightest.

Greens by value

JG2 Mermaid CG4 Bottle Meadow Lettuce CG3 LG4 Lake Mist
JG3 LimeGreen RainForest Botanical Citrus

chui cropped copy

For fun, I’ve experimented by painting the “correct” value and the “wrong” color.

Here’s Chui, a cheetah, that works because the values are correct.  Let me know if you ever see a cat with these colors!

February 13, 2017

4 responses on "Converting Your Inks to Value Numbers on the Grayscale"

  1. Makes sense and now I need a hold punch. Looking at the bottles really does nothing to knowing what the color will look like on the medium one uses. It would make a great reference guide.

  2. Thanks Sheryl. I remember seeing it now. . .sorry, sometime the old brain is slow.

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