I have been working on choosing the right color to paint the canvas that I am using to “frame” my Stewart Stephenson challenge piece. I thought you might be interested to see the process I have used to determine how dark/light the color should be.
These are my gray scale croppers. You can buy pads of gray scale paper at art supply stores. This is a set of paper that ranges from white to black with several shades of gray in between. Then you can just cut out two half frames in each color to make a set of croppers. I made large ones so they can be used on different sized compositions. When you are framing a piece and not leaving the natural edge, you can use croppers to see where the matte should go. If you have a piece that isn’t working for you, many times, you can use the croppers to pick out a section of your work that makes a better composition than the entire piece.
The photos above have the gray scale croppers from white to black moving from left to right. The far right is black. It is very hard to see in these photos but what I wanted to see was the different values behind the piece to see what value would look best on the canvas “frame”. The camera has a really hard time picking up the lighter gray values. When I looked at these in person, I decided I wanted a value between the dark grey and the black. The black looked just a little too stark.
So I had a set of value cards that I made in my color studies class and I decided to use those to determine the best value of dark gray. The value cards range from 1 to 10 with 1 being black and 10 being white. I used only 1 through 5 since I had already determined that I wanted a dark gray.
Here is the piece against the value cards. The far left is 5 going to 1 on the far right which is black. Now, squint your eyes and look at the photos. Which do you think is the best value to use? Which sets off the piece to the best advantage? This is somewhat subjective but when my stitch class tried this, most of us agreed which one we liked best.
In my next post, I’ll let you know which value I like best and I’ll talk about choosing the color I want to paint the canvas. Hopefully, I will even have the piece completely “framed”. Summer is just so busy for me, is it for you too?