What is v a l u e
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What is V A L U E?.

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What is v a l u e

What is VALUE?

- An element of art, value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. Value becomes critical in a work which has no colors other than black, white, and a gray scale. For a great example of value in action, think of a black and white photograph. You can easily visualize how the infinite variations of gray suggest planes and textures.

Value means light and dark.

Sometimes referred to by the Italian

word “chiaroscuro” (literally “light/dark”).

Value is often described visually by a

scale with varying shades

of gray arranged between black and white.

But remember that colors have values

also—what would you call a light value of red?

The 2-D artist must learn to “fake it” to create the

Illusion of three dimensionality.

A circle is rendered into a ball by using smooth,

TRANSITIONAL values, gently moving from

dark to light

A box needs ABRUPT value changes to show that the

light is different around its corners, top, and the

side facing the viewer.

Generally, lighter values appear to be “closer”

to the viewer, and darker values tend to

“recede” from the viewer.


Melt and






To pop out

In Summary:

All of these characteristics of value help

YOU, the artist, create illusions of space in

two-dimensional works of art.