Value & Color


In art, If you are working with a medium that uses color, such as colored pencils, pastels, or watercolor, it’s important to understand the differences in color and value. Before we go any further and before we watch anymore videos lets learn about value and color.

Color refers to just that – the color you use for a particular object, scene, background, etc.

Value, however, refers to the degree of lightness or darkness of a particular color. The lower the value, the darker the color; the higher the value, the lighter the color. For this lesson, you’ll be using watercolors. You will need:



• Watercolor Paints

• Watercolor paper

• A flat paintbrush

• Container with water

• Paper towels

• Styrofoam plate (for use as a palette)


Painting a Color in Different Values


1. Choose a color from your watercolor paints.

2. Dip your brush into the water, then into the color you choose. Make sure you are loading your brush with a lot of paint. Paint a wide line across your paper.







3. Dip into the water again, but this time, don’t dip into the paint. (You can wipe the brush once against the edge of the water container to get rid of some excess water).












4. Paint another line under the first. This shade will be lighter, or higher, in value.

5. Now, dip into the water again; don’t dip into the paint. Paint a third line under the second. The shade is lighter still.
















6. Repeat, painting a fourth line. 





















7. Finally, dip into the water one more time without dipping into the paint. Paint one more line. This line is the lightest shade of all and has the highest value.