Physical Characteristics of Value


Light patterns defining a surface, flat, spherical or geometric; it is only through changes of light and dark that we can perceive anything.

The arrangement and amount of variation in light and dark, independent of colors used.

Chiaroscuro--a technique making obvious use of contrasting lights and darks, used by daVinci, Michelangelo, Titian, etc.

Tenebrism--violent chiaroscuro, dark manner used to lend mood or emotional expression, typical of Rembrandt.


Color offers a broader field of value differences and contrasts; every color by itself is simultaneously a certain value.

The relationship between light and dark; low or high depending on value juxtaposition.

Spatial and Design Characteristics of Value

Closed Composition:

Values are limited by the edges or boundaries of shapes.
Open Composition:

Values extend beyond shape boundaries.