How can black and white shade studies brighten your day? Well, I must warn you, it is a tedious exercise, but the benefits are overwhelming.
A shade study is an essential way of seeing color. Color? How does a study in grey tones help you see color? Think of it like a meditation, you will have to try it to really reap the benefits.
Set aside an hour in your day. Pick a medium you enjoy, for instance, pencil, watercolors, oils or anything you can create black, white, and tones of grey. First make a grid or a color wheel with empty blocks you can color.
Fill in one end of the series with pure black and fill in pure white on the other end. Then paint a medium grey at the mid way point. These three colors will be your markers. Next, paint a series of graduating grey colors between the key markers. The first exercise is to create a series of five cells gradually transforming from black to white. Then make another series with ten cells and repeat the exercise. Paint as many of these as you can and increase the number of cells each time. Give yourself a deadline of an hour and focus on making the transition from black to white a gradual transition. Don't use a gradient in the exercise because the point of the exercise is to "SEE" the tone of grey not just pass over it. Study each tone.
Now, walk outside and look at your world again. You will be stunned at how bright the colors radiate!