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Ten Times the Value

Ask the Experts

By: John L. Leonard

John’s current project shows off the virtuosity of a 10-value swatch.

This article is the result of my experiences as I strive to create value swatches of excellent quality. I have found that 10-value swatches, while a little more time-consuming and needing a bit more materials, are well worth the work when compared to 8-value swatches. Let me explain.

I have found that a swatch with at least 10 values allows for much better shading than one with only 8 values. The extra two dark values are much darker than the darkest value of an 8-value swatch. These values are especially useful in achieving contrast and ensuring that the light and dark areas of the motif are distinct from each other and distinct from the background. 

Also, I find that shading with 10 values is easier and more pleasurable than using 8 values because I have more values from which to select.

This article is from the June/July/August 2014 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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