This is the perfect companion practice to painting, because it provides education in transitioning black and white drawing into working with color. Each lesson is a combination of technical and observation exercises.
Probably the most interesting aspect of working with color is its’ relative and changing nature. The way to harness that potential power and allure comes first with understanding how to manipulate value.
Discerning value: from the 12 colors on the wheel, we identify and diagram, in a scale that is 1 x 12″, placing yellow as close to the center as possible.
Yellow is the lightest value in the spectrum, and the rest of the hues span out, increasing in relative value. For the technical exercise we’ll draw a black/grey/white scale that compares the relative values.
The top two rows are a black and white copy of the bottom two rows, just to compare relative light and dark of the colored rows.
Here are some of my notes describing how we are going to proceed with our observation exercise:
The first four balls are as follows: b/w in graphite; saturation of one color; complements (yellow-green/red-violet); analogous (yellow, yellow-green, green). Then shades using 70 % grey with: yellow-green, complements, analogous (yellow-green, green, blue-green).
Brave students tackling this assignment:
And finally, a similar exercise and rendering of mine, using a tangerine as subject matter instead of the tennis ball: