When artists talk about the value in a painting they may not be talking about price. It’s just as possible they’re talking about the overall use of dark and light tones on the canvas. The value of any color is a relative assessment of how light or dark it is. A color with a low value will be very dark, and one with a high value will be light. Putting a very dark color next to a very light color creates high contrast, and putting two colors next to one another with similar values creates low contrast. An extreme example of low contrast would be to paint an entire canvas in one value even if it is painted in many colors.
Perhaps we are viewing a scene of San black cube fran and it’s really a very foggy day. A great way an artist is going to convey that dull city landscape is to create a arrangement in which the value of all the colors within the painting are fairly similar. In this painting there can be colors with definitely vary type of colors, for example a medium in the shade cobalt blue and a deep in the shade pink red, and yet they could have approximately the same value. Task for the new student is do discern the value that different colors have.
Value is important to painting because through it’s variations attributes such as depth, texture, volume, distance, source of light, focus points and mood are created.
So its important to become adept at knowing the values of the colors one uses. There are several ways to create a keener sense of value. The simplest is to squint while looking at subject, or put on a pair of sunglasses. The more we squint, the hazier things become and the richness of all color is cleared from our view. Our view becomes more monochrome and the true values, the settings or darkness of all colors are more apparent. A blue, a deep red and a green can all have the same value.
To truly test your sense of value try this simple and topical lesson. Take a wooden cube or any cube where all sides are the same color and place in on a piece of cardboard. Then shine a light from an angle so your cube cast a shadow and has lit and dark faces. Paint three different studies of these cube. In each study, use different colors to paint the various cube faces as well as the shadow that is cast, yet try your best to make each color match the value of the degree of lightness or darkness of the individual sides of the cube.
You now have three works of art of these cube with many different pallet of colors, but hopefully, three works of art where the variations in value are exactly the same. To see how well you did take all the works of art and make a monochrome copy on a Xerox By desigining a monochrome copy you reduce all colors to there true values. The three copies should look exactly the same but don’t be disappointed if they don’t! Practice will get you nearer.