Some Notes On Value and Color

  Here is one example…

  There is a room. Dimension of that room, Say it is 100 square feet or some thing. You call it a space. In that space you want to put few objects, may be seven or eight. So you arranged these objects in that space. Light is the key. Without light we won’t see anything in this physical world. So if you want to make your objects visible to the eye, there you need some light. O.K. We can imagine that light is coming from a window of that room. Imagine. What’s going to happen now? That light will fall in the room or in that space. Light falls also on the objects in the space.

Now they are visible to us. How they will be visible to us?


  More light falls on the objects nearer to the light source.

  Less light falls on the objects which are a little bit away.

  Objects which are far away, almost they will be in the dark.

  Because light is coming only from one source, (Single source of light is preferred to avoid confusion)     

  Opposite side of the objects towards light will be in shadow (they will get reflected light).Because of this process you will see light and shadows. You call these light and shadows technically ‘Values’.This value arrangement is the key to composition.


  Size of the objects and their textures are all part of this play. This value, you call it a ‘value scale’ divide it from lightest to darkest tones. It’s better if you limit this scale to 5 – 8 values. When you are doing a painting in black and white, experiment with these values. Let one of those values, I mean either dark or light values, dominate your picture. Otherwise confusion will arise. Make it simple.

 Avoid details. See them as big masses. Details will appear on their own. Study those variations of values carefully. Which objects are getting more light, which are getting less. Because of their textures every object will appear different. And because of their colors… some objects will reflect more light, some will absorb more. Study them carefully. Study them as a whole. This is the Key. Human eye sees the things this way.