Value Study is a free iOS app, aimed at people learning to draw or paint, for visualising where shadows and highlights appear within photo references or directly from your camera. One useful feature is selecting a value, which will highlight all areas of the image that matches the selected value... this is useful because at a glance you can see which tones are similar. That may sound simple but perception is a crucial skill which can be very hard, especially in complex colour references. The hope is that Value Study will help to ease the learning curve.
Value Study Pro
While Value Study is a free app and always will be, there is a very affordable one-time Pro upgrade available as an in-app purchase. This unlocks some additional features that may be useful to some people. It's completely optional but helps development of the app so I appreciate the support!
Features of Value Study Pro
With Value Study Pro you can switch between seeing the values filled in or outlined. If you select a value and enable outlines simultaneously, you will see the selected value filled in with all others outlined.
Customisable image simplication
Everyone can turn image simplication on/off in settings. With Pro you can take it a step further and use a slider to tweak it further... this is particularly effective when the value outlines are enabled.
Remove the background from portraits so you can focus on the people in your image without the background affecting the values shown.
The gallery tab lets you open multiple images at once. You can switch between them easily by swiping on the image (while zoomed out) too! This becomes incredibly useful when used for a series of images taken from different angles, such as a person turning around
What is a value study?
Value studies are usually greyscale drawings with very little detail, a technique artists can use to practise both composition and lighting. They are particularly useful for beginners as exercises for learning to draw or paint, traditionally or digitally.
A Notan is a common type of value study that uses just two values, usually black and white. Value Study lets you make notans by pressing the "-" button until there are just two values showing. However, it also allows for far more shades to help with seeing how details are formed.
Why use an app?
As with most things, it could be better to just work hard and practise drawing value studies without any help. However sometimes you just need a helping hand to progress, this is what Value Study is for. You can use it to help visualise values in everyday things, as a reference image before you start or to have something to compare your own value studies with after you've drawn them.
There are no adverts, trackers, analytics or any other form of privacy
concerns with the Value Study iOS app. All functionality takes place
directly on your device. Naturally the app requires a reference photo to
be useful, so it does let you select from your photo library and
optionally you can allow access to your camera to directly capture the
reference image. You can also, optionally, allow access to save the
value studies you create back to your photo library. But these go
Zero images or metadata are uploaded or accessed by anyone other than yourself.
Many apps use third-party tools to analyse usage to make the app better.
Value Study does not do this. While useful, it goes against our values
(pun intended) to send data to other companies when it's not required.
So we use the limited analytics provided to all developers directly by
For the rest, we rely on feedback directly from you via email or by writing a review on the App Store.
Value Study is freely available for iPhone and iPad on the App Store.