Painting Lesson - Painting Gray Values

Painting a gray scale or monochromatic color is a wonderful exercise to train your eye to see the subtle differences in grays from white to black. It sounds relatively easy to mix black and white paint with eights steps of gray from lighter to darker in nice even increasing increments, however it in tales a little training and practice.

Painting Gray Monochromatic Values

Draw a grid of 1" boxes of equal size 10 across and 7 down on a piece canvas from a canvas pad. Using white and black paint create 10 values in increasing steps from 0% (white) to 100% (black) with eight distinct gray scale values between as shown in the example below. Mix each gray value on a paper palette and not on the grid, once you have mixed the value starting with the lightest gray apply It to the grid and then mix the next gray value on the palette and apply it, and so on until you have successfully completed a gray scale. It is important to create this gray scale accurately as you will be using it in the next lesson Color Values.

Painting Gray Values

Below are examples of paintings that primarily gray scales - monochromatic color:

 Pablo Picasso "The Kiss," 1969

Pablo Picasso
"The Kiss" 1969
Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko

Plastic Sea = Edward Burke

Edward A. Burke
"Plastic Sea", Acrylic on Canvas, 80 x 60 inches