Tips and Tricks: Smartphone Values

Happy New Year! For January, we wanted to start off with a useful tip on how to gauge the values of the colors in your rug. This is a tip that Ania uses while color planning, but also while actively hooking, to confirm that all of the values she wants to present are covered in her projects.

A gray scale is a common tool for finding value, although I prefer my own method.

Why would you want to gauge the values in your rugs?

Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. It’s like looking at a gray scale. Values provide dimension to your art. If you use varied values, your projects will have more depth and visual appeal. You will have “movement” in the rug. Using multiple values of one color to depict, for example, a red ball, can give the viewer the impression that the ball is spherical. Even if you’re hooking in a primitive style, value will help you distinguish between different motifs in the rug.

How do you gauge value while color planning?

In order to give dimensionality to your rug, you have to use wool of different values.

To check the values in a project, a lot of people will use a gray scale, or value finder. What I like to do, is take a picture of my wool with my iPhone. I then duplicate that photo so that I have two identical photos. To duplicate a photo, I select the photo I want a copy of, and hit the “share” button, which is located on the lower left side of the screen (it looks like a box with an arrow pointing up). From the menu that pops up, I hit duplicate. That then results in two identical photos in my camera roll, right next to each other.

After I have two identical photos, I convert the second photo into a black and white image. To do that, I select the second image, and hit “edit” which is in the upper right hand corner of the screen. At the bottom of the screen, I select the middle edit button, which is three overlapping circles. I then slide over to the mono filter, which is the first black and white filter, and the third filter from the right. I then hit done, and my black and white photo is saved.

I toggle between the black and white photo and color photo of my wool to see what the values are, and determine where I might need to make adjustments. Bright and dull colors will often appear to have a more exaggerated value than what they actually are – this trick helps you see their actual value, relative to the other wools you’ve chosen.

I do this trick while color planning, and while actively hooking, to confirm that the values I’m using make sense and give enough dimensionality to my motifs.

In the example rug images above, you can follow the outline of the motif in the black and white image, and see where the values I used match the background, because the outline essentially “disappears” when you get to the small mitten motifs towards the bottom of each side of the pattern.

If you have any questions, please leave them below!


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