Karen's Studio Blog

KarenLynnLink.Spring Tulips image
©2019 Karen Lynn Link, Spring Tulips, vine charcoal on paper, 12" x 9”.

Greetings and salutations,

As I was working in the studio, my thoughts kept returning to my art school days and my professors talking about value. Here’s why it matters:

Value is an important part of two dimensional art. It is one of the five elements of form that include: color, line, shape, texture, and value. Representational and abstracted works of art need good value structure. It is the skeleton that composition, the illusion of three-dimensions (also called plasticity), and depth build upon.

Value, defined as the relative lightness or darkness given to an area by the amount of light reflected from it, is about relationships. It’s the relationship of the amount of light that is falling on one object compared to all other objects. It’s also the relationship of the lightest lights and darkest darks within one object. Without light, there is no value.

Value has remarkable descriptive powers. Not just with objects but also in describing emotions, psychology, and drama. A very dark drawing or painting will have a gloomy or sullen feel while an overall light work will feel happier or more positive.

Without good value, a work of art can seem lifeless, flat, or less engaging. Good value structure in a work of art can be noticed across a gallery room and draw viewers to it.

Take care and have a beautiful day,


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