Tones and Values

Ok, I’ve had a read through this page and it has nailed explaining tonal ranges and composition; in my opinion… How to Draw Tonal Composition Studies.

More understanding of tonal studies is definitely needed in order to get these colours right. Words of wisdom from Conánn and Michael. 🙂 Learn tones before getting mixed up in colour.


Tonal scale done quickly in photoshop above.

After reading into the colour and light chapter of ‘Art fundamentals’, I realised there are two ‘tone scales’ artists use; the 10 value scale and also the nine-value scale. To sum it up the nine-value scale is the same as the image above, minus the 0 and 10 value.


“The above value scale of Denman Ross was introduced in 1907. His value terms set the standard still used today. This scale helps artists understand and identify light, mid-tones and darks more easily.” – Taken from Lori McNee’s article posted August 15, 2011 on artists (link here)

Definition of values according to ‘Art Fundamentals’ which I liked: “Value (or tone) is another important factor that influences how realistic our pictures will seem. In terms of describing light, it is actually more important than the use of colour.”

Below are some old examples of a colour exercise I had done which broke down colour; it is a good way to think about colour in different stages. I had taken a still frame of Ham from Toy Story and also a cool piece of concept art which I had found, but now I can’t recall the name of the artist; I don’t claim these images to belong to me in any way.

The top image is the original with my 3 broken down stages beneath.


References :


Art Fundamentals, Book, First published by 3DTotal – 9 Mar 2013
Beloeil Riabovitchev (Author)



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