The Tone Bar and its Use
Have you made a tone Bar?
I made my first one in an oil painting class. It was the very first painting exercise we did. This handy tool has been used ever since. I take it to classes now to help others understand just what tone is and how it is used in creating believable paintings.
The tone bar is used primarily to help the artist become familiar and friends with the amount of light to dark there is in a shape. Use it as a guide for comparison. It's good to say of a particular shape -" it's a light tone but not white" but really how do we make a consistent memorable comparison which we can discuss with others? This is why the tone bar exists in all its formats.
Use the tone bar to measure by comparison. Compare the light to dark in a shape by holding the tone bar up and looking across from one to the other. Squinting is the best for this. Squinting shuts down excess light, it diminishes the amount of colour we see, leaving the grayness of a shape. To squint shut one eye and close the other eye until you are looking through your eyelashes (and they have no form). Notice how light to dark the shape is you can see through this narrow slit of vision.
This handy little painting tool can be found on the sides of the commercial colour wheel, it can be bought as a separate tool made of cardboard and ready to use. There are so many variations in physical size and shape, the number of increments or keys on the bar and material its made from.
The tone bar I use is a newer edition that I made myself. It's made on canvas so it's light weight, it is easy to handle and bend.
My tone bar lives in my note book. There is also one for the studio, a bit larger and still made on canvas.
Getting the tone correct is important to me, so that my paintings are believable and look right. I like to know that I have done everything I can to make my painting the best it can be. Tone is the cornerstone of this.
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The Curious Artist Blog-
talks about everything and anything to do with painting.
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Either way this blog is about art, artists and everything to do with painting and drawing, being informative, heck maybe even inspiring, all aimed at making painting enjoyable. I sincerely wish you to join me on this adventure. best wishes, Karol