Creating a Grayscale, Value charts, and Value Relativity

Creating a grayscale in painting means that you are creating value charts that determine the relativity of blacks to white in your painting. This type of value relativity goes from black at the weakest intensity to white at the strongest. 

Grayscale images are also called monochromatic images. This is because they do not contain any color at all. Images that contain only black and white are known as binary images or bi-level images. The grayscale is more identified with photography than it is with painting. 

Monochrome palettes only have some shades of gray and do not deviate that far from black and white. A monochromatic palette might only have eight, sixteen or 24 colors in it. Monochromatic graphics typically have a black background with a white or gray image but the opposite – a white background with black and grey graphics is also possible too. 

Even more limited is a two bit gray scale which consists of only the colors black and white and two shades of gray.  A four bit grayscale consists of black and white and fourteen shades of gray. We often see the four bit grayscale at use in primitive computer graphics.

In oil, acrylic or other types of painting the purpose may be to convert color images to grayscale. This can sometimes be done on a computer using pixels. The pixilated image then can be referred to by the painter to create a painting out of tones of gray or a monochromatic painting to which the same color applies again and again.

Converting color to grayscale can get quite complicated.  It has to do with obtaining the values of the primary colors in the image.  This is any of the red, blue or green values in the image. It is 30% of the red value, 59% of the green value, and 11% of the blue value that usually make up the gray scale.

The classic grayscale is a color mode that is made up of 256 shades of gray. These are known as monochrome and RGB palettes. Each palette is represented bay aeries of color swatches.

Black and white drawings are sometimes referred to as grayscale drawings but for the most part this is inaccurate. Grayscale drawings must be made up of shades of gray as in a pencil drawing with cross hatching. Line drawings that are strictly made from black and white space are technically known as bit-maps.

We hoped that this oil painting lesson had help you get some hints and tips.


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