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Monday, October 7, 2013

Color and Value: 001

Maurice most usually thought of color in how it related to value. ( The relative lightness or darkness of a color.) Always making sure that a composition worked in black and white FIRST before moving on into something more colorful. 

Cartoon Colour cel vinyl was Maurice's paint of choice. The paints were marked with a one (1) for the lightest value, and the bigger the number, the darker the paint. 

Above is a chart Maurice used to show how the value of many colors he used related to gray. 

The color number appears vertically under each color and #20 represents the darkest value. The gray values on the left are in the same order, from dark to light, and any color number appearing on a horizontal line with a gray value has that same gray value when photographed in black and white. 

How is this useful? It's sometimes difficult to tell how dark or light a color really is. When transferring a black and white sketch Maurice wanted to be sure that his colors were as close as possible to the original sketch values.

Supplement to pg. 91 of "The Noble Approach."

Clean up by Esben Sloth


  1. I am reading the book, an looking at this chart,just curious. How did Maurice would go to darker shades of green. Its seems that he had a larger body of greens than displayed on this chart here. Perhaps I am not reading it well. Your book is wonderful and well written too. My studio is using it as a bible for our new series.

  2. Hi there, Thanks for your note. Glad to hear that the book has been helpful in what you're doing!

    The chart represents the pre-mixed "pure" colors that were available from Cartoon Colour back in the day. Maurice of course would then mix these out of the tube colors with others according to his needs. A darker shade of green would be achieved by adding black to the mix. This chart was simply a basic guide to help Maurice get a sense of value relationships.