Tuesday, May 16, 2023

My Bad Midtone Day


5/10/23 Green Lake. I think this brown is too dark to
serve as a midtone.)

After trying light-on-dark drawings with colored paper as the darkest tone, which was especially challenging on location, I tried a different tactic. I’ve been using colored paper as the midtone with black and white for a long time, an approach I really love. I thought I’d use colored paper as the midtone, but instead of black and white, use warm and cool colors to interpret the lightest and darkest values.

On a beautifully warm and sunny day that encouraged lots of walking and sketching, I took Uglybooks in medium blue and brown out with me. Maybe I just chose the wrong colors of both papers and pencils, but my experiments were not successful. None of these “read” clearly as values. The brown, especially, is too dark for a midtone, but it’s not dark enough to be a dark, either.

Regardless, when it’s 69 degrees and sunny, it’s hard to call that a bad day!

I kind of gave up on this one.

5/10/23 Maple Leaf. I worked hard on this one, but
it still "reads" poorly.

Another one I gave up on.


  1. I think the medium blue works better as a midtone. I agree that the brown doesn't work for this style. But you had a beautiful day outdoors!!!

    1. Enjoying the experience is the part that counts! :-)


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