Value, Line and Texture.

Value, line and texture (along with color, shape, space) are elements of art that are used to create visual interest.

In Art, value means the lightness and brightness of an area or object. It is used to give a drawing or painting the illusion of light (from an imagined source such as the sun, moon, candle, etc.) that in turn gives the illusion of 3-D forms rather than flat shapes.
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Value also affects color greatly, for every color has a separate value.

Value can also affect the emotional response to a work of art. A dark painting will have a sense of unknown or fear, while the light areas give a sense of safety and hope. By understanding how to use value, an artist will increase their ability to capture exactly what they are trying to say within an illustration.

Download the attached file to practice creating values in class.


Line and Value can also be used to give a textural sense, or what an object may feel like. Whether scratchy, smooth or rough, value and line can give the viewer more visual sensations which will make your artwork more interesting.

Download this file to practice creating texture:

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Where to put light and dark

Often times it is difficult to decide where to put value within an illustration.
Consider these two visual clues;

Where do you want the viewers eye to go first?
The eye will travel to the light areas first – wherever you want the eye to go first,
consider leaving that the lightest area in your artwork.

Where is the light coming from?
Whether from the moon, sun, torchlight or magical glow – light will travel in a straight line.
Think about where your light source is coming from, and where the objects are located in the space of your artwork.

Check out this handout for more information on how light travels.

And of course, continue to look at other artwork to inspire and inform your own creations.
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