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Tonal Values

GETTING YOUR TONAL VALUES RIGHT

“Tonal values are critical. The lights and darks contribute more to the success of a painting’s composition than any other factor, including colour. In fact your painting will really only be as good as the tonal values.”

By Greg Albert, The Simple Secret to Better Panting

A painting with only mid-tones risks being flat and dull. Value or tonal contrast creates visual interest in a painting. A high-key painting is one in which the contrasts in value or tone are extreme, from black right through the range of mid-tones down to white. A low-key painting is one in which the tonal range is narrower.

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