Class Notes: VALUE in Color

In Class we have been studying Value, making Grayscales - hoping some of it sinks in. . .
Making sense of the value scale is part of training our eyes to discern value changes, - the more we do it, the more sensitive and accurate our value choices will be.  - but WHY?
Because VALUE is how we show form and create the illusion of 3 dimensions, on a flat canvas.
Does your work have depth, or show the light effects that you desire? We avidly study COLOR, but VALUE is what gives COLOR it's power - with out it, color makes little sense.
So - this week we started with a color photo of a cup and saucer and created a few 3-value plans - to which we applied this criteria:
The value plan must show the light & shadow effect.
It must help me to communicate what I want to say about the photo?
The value plan must communicate the 3D structure of the image in the photo?
To keep it simple we started with Black as #7 and laid in the darkest areas, then mixed a mid range gray (matching it to #4 on the Grayscale) and applied it to all of the middle value areas. Finally we left the white of the canvas as #1 our lightest value.
Of the 3 above - each value plan is a little different.
We used the photo for reference, but have made different design choices as to where certain lights and darks will be placed.
So much for the easy part. . .

I chose value plan two as my favorite, each class painter also chose one and we began to lay color on top of the value areas, trying to use colors that fit into that specific value range by matching them to our Grayscale.  It is all about comparing,  squinting, and matching; and there were a lot of A-Ha moments.
In the case above - I have tried to work many colors into each of the three values, but the true test is when we look at a tonal interpretation to see if they all hang together as one value.  See below.
At first I did not trust my own eyes as I squinted to match colors to values.
Several people pulled out their "i-phones" for this part; most new phones have a photo app of some kind that works well. Beware however,  we found some major anomalies between  phones, and between phones and cameras.
Your trained EYE can still be the best judge of visual information - so grab that grayscale -
you are now free to start squinting at the world.