A free stamping resource!

Color Principles with Sherre Hulbert: Workshop One

Stamper's Quest is thrilled to feature artist and author Sherre Hulbert in a series about color.  Color is one of the most basic elements in our art, and the more we discover, the more exciting our quest will be.


Although these lessons were set up with a painter in mind, rubber stampers can gain valuable information using the same principles. It would be worth your time to invest in some student grade paints to play along with the lessons. If you think you may want to paint more often, professional or artist grade paints offer you the best pigments.

Using Mars Black and Titanium White, we will be making a 9-step value scale. Painting your own value scale will give you a feel for mixing paints to achieve varying values of light to dark.

SUPPLIES NEEDED FOR THIS LESSON: white and black acrylic paint, paper palette, flat paint brush, a ruler and pencil, Bristol board, container of water and spray bottle of water, scissors and glue. Journal of any type, optional.

With a pencil, draw 9 connected rectangles, on your Bristol board.  You will need to stay inside the lines between rectangles, but it is all right if you paint outside the lines on the outside edges.

On your palette paper, squirt out a blob of the White and Black paint. On opposite ends of the value rectangles, paint one rectangle white and on the opposite end, paint one rectangle black. You can keep your paints moist and workable by spraying the paint with a spritz of water occasionally.

You will practice creating a 9-step value scale by mixing your white and black paints together in ever increasing light and/or dark colors. You will want to end up with 9 painted rectangles that flow from white to black with shades of gray in between. Your flat brush works well for this project.

As you make gray values for your scale, try to create a natural flow from light to dark and vice versa. Your step gradations should be just that; gradations and not huge jumps in value from one to the next. You may want to paint several value scales if you have never done this exercise before. Repetition is a great way to learn something new.

Once you have accomplished this, you can cut out your value scale and attach it with glue to another piece of Bristol board. Label this finished piece, “Value Scale”, and sign your name and date it.


Go through your magazines and find examples of pictures that use the value scale from black to white.

Glue these pictures in collage style to your journal page(s). Label these pages "Value Scale.”

I added quotes on color throughout my journal pages. You can also journal about your painting experience as you worked on your value scale. Did you find this exercise hard, easy?  If it was hard, what made it so? Working with the paint, creating the right mix of grays ? Share your experiences by emailing us: stampersquest@yahoo.com.

A little about Sherre Hulbert:

I have always loved creative pursuits. My love of the arts include painting, quilting, photography, embroidery, knitting and crocheting, making journals, digital art, gardening, and jewelry making. I have co-authored three books titled: Exploring the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Art Volumes 1 &2, and Jewelry Beyond Time. I have also been published in several Stampington publications. An art show award winner, I have also had my art featured in a local winery. I am beginning a new endeavor with Cynthia Powell, Cecilia Swatton and Sharon House called “Hands On Digital” which creates digital art kits for mixed media artists. I own the Yahoo art group, Arttechniques, and The Latest Trends in Mixed Media Art group. Check out the Latest Trends monthly newsletter found at: http://thelatesttrendsinmixedmediaart.com. I also am working on developing my own website called, alteredheartdesigns.com.

"The information for these tutorials has been compiled from the Santa Rosa Junior College class, "Principles of Color", taught by Lisa Beerntsen. Used with permission."

Editor's Note:  To see the next article in this series, click here.

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses »

  1. Oh so awesome - I'm looking forward to learning more.

  2. ooh fun and learning too.. LOVE it. I have not done these in years.. I don't think I ever dataed and signed a gray scale or color wheel of any kind.. brilliant idea. It is a work of art..

  3. I'm with you, Crafty Sal. This is going to be a great series!!!

  4. This is great! I've had no formal art training, so I know I will gain plenty from this series. Off to mix some paints..!