Form And Light With A Single Color

The Complex Interaction Of Color And Value In A Simple Exercise

In this lesson we’ll learn to show both three dimensional form as well as light using three values with a single color. It is important to get used to this three-value formula to show light and form – it works every time!

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Value is one of several important characteristics of color. Also known as ‘shade’ or ‘tone’, it is essentially the level of dark or light. It is most easily understood when working with only white, black and varying shades of gray in between.

We’ll work with layers of a single color – working from lighter to darker – in an effort to depict light and form using only the “local color” of our objects.  Building layers of color usually ads both color intensity and darker values.  We’ll be using the simple composition of cubes used in an earlier video where we worked exclusively with shades of gray. As in the earlier video, the different value areas will show the different areas of light, shade and shadow that reveal the form of the subject and the direction and quality of light.

Future videos will deal with showing form and light while working with both color and value

A note about value.  It is often considered to be the most important characteristic for painters. This is because value changes and value contrasts can impact the mood, focus and visual movement through a painting. Many would say that value is the only aspect of color that really matters – think of some great drawings you’ve seen that are done only in black and white media.

What you’ll need:

Related Lessons

Value Basics

Value To Color