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  • Understanding Tonal Variation

“Tone”, often you come across in many art books, is the relative lightness and darkness of color. why it is important? it is because you are representing a 3D object in a 2D surface, so tonal variation makes creates light and shade and give the viewers an impression of 3 dimensions. also it creates a difference between objects on the basis of distance and degree of light falling upon them. lead pencil sketches are very effective to get a firm idea on the tonal modulation. if you practice it seriously, you are one step ahead in watercolor painting. another important practice, in my opinion, is to paint the subject in only one color, i.e. black. add water while it is need to achieve the lighter tone. why? because different colors create visual difference between the objects. if you have any problem (you will have!) try to find some good black and white pictures(i don’t have to tell you the sites where you can get them!), or simply convert a color image into black & White image in Photoshop or others and paint it. gradually you will learn how to catch the tones. here i have prepared a small example. have a look on it.

One Comment
  1. Tom Smith permalink

    The correct term is value, not tone

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