Drawing Tools

Tools may be used for measurement or the layout of a drawing. They may also help improve consistency and speed.

Tools for Visual Artists

Tools may include a straight edge to assist in drawing a straight line, perspective drawing tools, blenders, or erasers.


Value is a measurement of light. In drawing, we think of it as the shades of gray between black and white. This is how we translate light and shadow into shading.

Value Scales

A value scale enables the artist to make better comparisons and suggest relationships between the values observed in nature by comparing them on a scale. Determine color values and intensities with this Gray Scale and Value Finder! Place this die-cut card directly on a photo or piece of artwork, or view it between your eyes and your subject matter to match the gray values on the card.

Value Scale or Gradation with 11 tones

Glasses for Seeing Value

Seeing Value

Glasses with red lenses will help beginners train their eyes to see value.

When you put them on, you will see the world in tint, tones, and shades only, without color, i.e. hue or intensity, i.e. brightness or dullness of colors.

You can find them anywhere on the Internet. The best high-quality ones are usually made for hunters.

Note: Do NOT wear them when driving!

View Finders

The View Catcher is a mid-gray 3.5×3.5" ABS plastic tool with a small circular opening that helps you to see the "True" color. The View Catcher is simple, easy to learn, and pocket size.

It opens vertically or horizontally to help you find a suitable composition. It allows you to view your subjects without the distraction of surrounding elements. With it, you'll be able to create stronger compositions, choose accurate color values, and provide a clear vision of warm and cool color choices.

Solve common problems quickly and easily with the ViewCatcher This innovative artist tool allows you to view your subject matter or painting without surrounding elements. The 3 1/2 in. x 3 1/2 in. ViewCatcher is durable plastic to hold up to the elements and provides years of use. It is colored a #5 gray to help judge value and has a small sight opening in the center that enables artists to see -true- color. The ViewCatcher can be held at different distances, and the adjustable opening can be oriented horizontally or vertically to help find just the suitable composition.

View Catcher

Picture Perfect Viewfinder

The Picture Perfect Viewfinder has both a viewfinder and red film for seeing values. It also has a value scale for comparison and several grid sizes. You can purchase these at Picture Perfect Viewfinder (3 in 1) or via Amazon.

Picture Perfect Viewfinder

How To Use a Viewfinder

MIIR Tools

MIIRA has fabulous tools for measuring angles and proportions. Note they also have a great app! They also have an inexpensive app for your phone that can measure angles on a picture of your subject. You can purchase these or the app directly from MIIRA.

Miira Measuring Tool

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