First we divided the canvas into quarters, drew 3 circles in every quarter and gave each one a value number using the value scale - seen here. Every quarter should have 3 circles: a light one, a medium one, and a dark one, plus a fourth and lightest value for the background - for a total 4 different values.
Now to the fun stuff - PAINT. On the sketch above, I have noted the intended values, based on my numbered value-scale (I expect to vary these a bit).
With the sketch as a guide, I will use the value-scale to match each color choice to the value number noted on the sketch.
Side note: You can see that I did not paint the circles onto a white canvas but applied a mid-range (value #4) color as a ground. In the end this may get covered but sometimes having a mid-range "ground" already ON the canvas helps us evaluate the colors placed on top. Note: a "ground" is a prepared surface, in this case- a colored surface, to which paint is applied.
After generally covering the canvas, I went back and began to play with the shapes by varying the brushwork and worked to move the color around the canvas, while staying true to the values in each shape. This was so much fun that it was hard to stop - I could imagine working up this idea to 6 foot format. Oh yeah!
In the end however - the tonal photo tells the story;
for all the craziness, the shapes still hold to the value plan set forth in the original sketch.
Now- go out and color the world - but don't forget your VALUE sketch.