The Importance of Values

The term value refers to the relative lightness or darkness of a color or of black. Values are important in both painting and drawing because the variation among lights and darks creates the illusion of form. In pencil drawing, the shape of the subject dictates where to place the values to create the form. Note: If an area is made too dark, it could stand out from all other elements and seem out of place. Notice how the use of value differences in the tree trunk to the right suggests the trunk’s texture.

As shown in step A, begin the trunk with a simple line drawing using the blunt point of an HB pencil. In step B, begin shading the middle values with the side of the HB. Finally, continue by shading the darker values ...

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