Below is a reprint of the article that appeared in the January 21st edition of the Press Sentinal.

Children have an inherent ability for creating art. It is one of the most important ways people tell us how they view the world. The elements of art are the "building blocks" of art. This vocabulary is used to describe any work of art. As per the Georgia Performance Arts Standards, all students must be able to define and identify each of the elements by the time they graduate 5th grade. Since the Wayne County Public School System is not able to provide their public elementary schools with a formal art program, this seven-part series was created to enlighten, encourage and enable parents to help build the foundation of art literacy needed for success once their students enter the Wayne County, middle school art program. Each article explores one of the seven elements.


In the past two months, we have examined “lines” and “color”.  If you missed seeing those, you can visit to view the previously published articles and resource links.

This month we will investigate “Value”. Believe it or not, value is more important than color to the design and success of a painting. But what is value exactly? Value is merely the lightness or darkness of any given color. It has to do with the addition of white or black, not with the mixing of colors. Value is an important concept for a painter, photographer or printmaker to understand. Once you grasp the concept of value, the task of using the full range of color tones to create an interesting painting becomes easier and your projects can graduate from one-dimensional drawings to a three-dimensional design.

Here is why:

  • Value is used to create a focal point within a painting or drawing (the eye is immediately drawn to a light element against a dark).

  • To create the illusion of depth, gradations of value are also used.

  • Areas of light and dark give a three-dimensional illusion of form to subject matter.


Additional Learning Resources:

  1. Research has proven that you can learn almost anything when the content is put to music. The educational composers at Scratch Garden make the subject of Value easy to understand and memorable in their video; “Lights... Darks... Action!” These trendy teachers know that whether studying shades, tones or tints, Value is value-able for art, film, photography, and life!                 



  2. At the YouTube channel UAMSart, you can learn how to make your very own Value 

      chart with any color. This excellent step-by-step tutorial will make your student a

      “Tint and Shade” expert!

  3. Question: What did the triangle say to the circle?

      Answer: "You're pointless!"

      Well, this circular project at “Dean’s Art Class” has a “point” and is fun too! This

      video gives your student a personal, guided lesson that incorporates all of the

      above concepts and allows your student the opportunity to show what they have

      learned when they create a beautiful blue value project.                                     



      4. Once your student masters the basic concept of Value there are literally

      thousands of amazing projects for them to do! These Value adventures are just a

     ‘Click” away when you search the term “K-12 Tints and Shades” on Pinterest

     ( Don’t have a Pinterest account? It’s free! All you need is an

     e-mail address.


Next month we will learn how to convey emotions and messages through art using “texture”.