Art Fundamentals: Values

Art Fundamentals: Values

I’m Clint I welcome to our fundamental series in each episode we’re going to be taking a look in a different art fundamental for every artist Chenault values is the topic of this difficult exercise of a future one in this video from a previous episode in the series and welcome back and feel free to use the button in order to skip the overview but it’s not hang around for a second it’s a point that you understand what the art fundamentals are and why they’re important our fundamentals are a core set of skills knowledge understanding that every artist should have these are the basic tools in your tool kit and you can apply them to any kind of art that you want it doesn’t matter if you want to be concept art or illustration and going to murals of portraits these principles and these courses knowledge they apply to it all so you get these down you’re on good footing to do anything that you want hold off on the advance technique until you learn these it’s like the old proverb says it’s wise to first learn the rules before you try to bend them so what should you be learning shapes and forms shading perspectives basic anatomy of proportions color Theory composition values and observation skills was that understood what should you know about values and the art world values is a term referring to how light or dark something is not its monetary value although that’s the same word it is also independent from a colors hue or saturation we’re only given a value to its light or darkness the value scheme ranges from white to black with every gradation in between we usually represent it on a one to ten scale something like you see here it is deceptively simple no colors no saturation only gray tones why would this be difficult to learn to control and why is it important let’s take a look at one of the reasons relative value and something looking different depending on what value it is around this is an image from Wikipedia Commons I didn’t create it but it is a classic illusion this square a in the square B are in fact the exact same value so I can turn on a layer and I will show that the colors are the same they can connect this is difficult to observe our brains wants to tell us that can’t be possible this is a white square that is a gray square white and gray or not the same value you have to unlearn how to see things or be cognizant of how your brain wants to change the way that you seen them so that you can actually observe it correctly this is surrounded by a shadow tone everything here is darker making it look lighter relatively you can use that to your advantage or you can be turned against you start paying more attention to it let’s move on to another example this is the character in Essos that I sold straighted for magic a while back we’re going to be using this image as the example for a couple of things first link this image has value and color let them tell you right now that value is more important than color controversy no really it’s not very controversial it is easy to prove we have color and value right now but whatever way to change this if we had this image only in color and it had to use the same value all color one value we’re going to look like that right there not very appetizing not even hardly recognizable it just doesn’t work but what if we flipped it what if we had all the different values and only one color then we have this your standard black and white image one color being gray this works this works almost as well as the original the original eyes have been a punch from the color but it really is just the icing on the cake black and white can stand on its own and it did for a long time some of the best photographs and films ever recorded we’re in black and white so they are the foundation of the image don’t think colors are going to save it if you want a lot of underlying strength and foundation your image you want to get those some values next thing we need to talk about is value scheme the value scheme is kind of like the value map of the image if you wouldn’t simplify the image and to just large chunks of value it should still work it shouldn’t be too busy if you have a distinct foreground mid-ground background if you’re having a landscape image something like we have here or the element should be easily understood here is an example of a value scheme of this image if you want to create a value scheme or simplify how to do a version of it you can go up here to filter filter gallery then go to cut out and so that something like I have here probably three to five on the levels xm+ these six to eight edge fidelity to one a view D saturate the image that will give you something like this you don’t necessarily even need to run that filter you should be able to just look at your image like this or in color and see the value scheme in your mind and this one has a good value scheme you can tell because it is clear it has a clear form here for the main character the foreground the foreground and the main character use the darkest values the mid-ground uses slightly lighter value and a mid-tone the background uses the lightest least contrasting values this is a simple value scheme that works in two also one of the reasons that this image holds up when it’s little you can see when it’s small and it’s still visually readable that’s a good value scheme now let’s talk about a bad value scheme bad value scheme that generally come from something called fragmented values it’s where there is too much light in the dark areas and too many darks and the light areas I made a version of that here there is a certain visual punch to this and there’s a reason for that it has a lot of contrast contrast naturally grab the eye of a viewer same thing for hard edges and bright colors but this is just over the top this just has contrast everywhere there is no place to rest there is no ease point for your eye to find to sort of take rest and just enjoy the scene a black and white version of this is like that again a lot of really high contrast the scheme of it like this now let’s compare the two this one is clear this one has two steamed planes this one uses the exact same parameters and gives you that this has lights in and down into the mid-tones it has darks in the background just a lot of extra edges the other thing to look at here is the size this does not work well when it’s a little because it’s so busy you can’t read that scene when it’s small like you can the original good image has a certain amount of subtlety in the values it’s knowing that you could use a black and not using it or knowing that you could use a white and not using it it’s like music knowing that you could play as loud and as fast as you want but that’s not necessarily going to make it better sometimes subtlety in music it’s the soft tones it’s the long note it’s the slowing of the tempo that actually makes some of the best music in the world and for us some of the best pieces of art plays we want to simplify the plains of an image and that is one of the reasons that image come to breed well visually when it’s at a distance or seem small and that is important to get into commercial arm if they can’t understand the image if they can’t glance at it and see it when it’s smaller at a distance it’s no good to sell the product or convey the concept that you’re a harder to do foreground mid-ground Brown and you can see out each one has a distinct value range this in the foreground go from white to black it uses the entire value scheme those on the mid-ground a little bit less we don’t go over way to black we go to perhaps a seven on the value scale and the background is even less you go to maybe a four something remember as a guideline is that generally things get lighter as they go away with atmosphere things lighten and lessen in contrast as they go away fragmented values there were one of the most common mistakes and digital painting if you can learn to spot them and avoid them then your images are going to be the much better at Forge just don’t understand the line areas or the length and the dark areas know that you need to hit for a lot of contrast but you don’t always want to show a little subtlety with your values I think your images will be the better for all the quick recap set planes set value ranges for your images recognize your program mid-ground background set those and control them one last tip is rendering skin a lot of people tend to render skin much too light this is an example from a previous episode somebody submitted the image on the left I did I’ll repaint on the right if you want to know more about rendering skin and appropriate value range check out the episode you have a link here in an in description below hopefully you have a bit of understanding of what values are white are important how to use on makeup little pitfalls there’s a lot more to be learned about values this is just a quick overview for fundamentals this video is brought to you by my patrons they make this possible but they don’t just do it out of the current it’s no heart no sir those guys get in-depth videos every month we’re talking about exclusive videos like the making magic series where I go through the creation of my magic images showing the good the bad and the crazy then go into some of those as well as in-depth educational things this coming month this guy we’re going to be talking about illustrating characters and lighting scenarios for character illustrations and I thought it’s bit on rendering a scene with a classic cel animation look it’ll be good all right old see you next time keep going [Music]


  • boitahaki says:

    I think the best part of this video is when you show what NOT to do with the image with high contrast everywhere, I think its one of the best ways to teach how to avoid mistakes.

  • Marian Hawke says:

    Thank you so much for these videos !
    I have been drawing since my childhood, until I was 15… But you know, a lot of idea, "want to do" but "without being able to do". I wasn't ok at all about failling every time I tried. So I stopped, and I know that I shouldn't have. But.. It was mainly because I didn't have all these 'Art Fundamentals', I think. I'm sincerely hoping that your videos would help me to start again, with the base that I need. I'm 18 now and I want to draw again, with pleasure. I miss to draw, really, and I want to catch up the time I've lost.
    Thanks' again Clint. :>

    {Sorry for my English, it's not my mother tongue.}

  • Igor M says:

    sigh , If i had discovered this videos 5 years ago…

  • AQ YzARc says:

    very helpful video!
    i want to know How Much Detail is enough?when i drawing i always feel like it not detail enough
    and how to know where to detail?
    thank a lot!

  • m esho says:

    that image looks way better with just values than colored

  • Marko Fisič says:

    dude you're great.

  • Dairo Salamanca says:

    THIS IS, A TUTORIAL! dude!! amazing, this is really informative.

  • Martín López says:

    As always, it is a pleassure to watch your videos. Keep it up

  • Bossbuzz says:

    amazing content, i always hoped i found info like this thanks a lot man

  • AlekThunder47 says:

    Wow, and I thought I knew everything about this. Thank you so much!

  • EricFrostArt says:

    Really loving this Value tips. Especially the Cut Out Filter. Thank you Clint

  • Brian Crotts says:

    These videos are excellent, informative, well produced, and overall just awesome. Appreciate it!

    Would pay for this series. Liked and subscribed.

  • Lithrean says:

    Definitely going to be a video I watch more than once. This is excellent, thank you 🙂

  • Marcela M. G. says:

    this is one of the best ways to test your values! thank you so much for this tutorial <3 keep going with these great videos! Love your work, Cearley!

  • Opus 72 says:

    Don't forget to squint when you're trying to simply values into a few big chunks

  • Sun Khamunaki says:

    Thanks for sharing Clint, I always learn something new when I watch your videos, cheers!

  • x-Ren-x says:

    Wonderful video. I've also bought the "Making Nissa" video on Gumroad and found it immensely helpful.

    Much like in this video, you didn't focus on the specifics but, rather, on the general and the fundamentals. I found your delivery very natural and full of little bits of information that really helped me understand why you took certain decisions. I also really liked that you took some time to explain what could have been done better and which stages you thought didn't work so well and didn't just delete the layers that got taken out (such as the light at the base of the image that isn't present in the final product).

    It must be at least a bit tempting to only show what went well and not show that even at your level, there are some second thoughts, so I really commend you for walking us through the whole process with humility and generosity.


  • Himesh Anand says:

    please make a tutorial on "how to paint with values"

  • Craig Titus says:

    thanks for this

  • Nostradamus21b says:

    This is one of the best CG tutorial I've ever seen! Terrific!
    I stopped in the middle just to buy "Making Nissa" at Gumroad. What a masterpiece!
    Greetings from Chile, Master Cearley.

  • Clinton Hewett says:

    From one Clint to another Clint Thank you your tutorials are a wealth of help!

  • LintenzArt says:

    When can we expect the next video from the fundamentals series? I find them quite helpful 🙂

  • 月夜魔気俊 says:

    Ha, accidental life advice at 6:19, re: personal values and dark\light traits.

    Thank you for the fundamentals overview!

  • Kiara Hammond says:

    whats the difference between value and shading?

  • Teddy Tarnando says:

    new sub 🙂
    amazing explanation, helps a lot

  • Karabo Pare says:

    I understand you set planes, but isn't that kind of cheating have hour planes next to your image instead of blurring your eyes and trying to find the colour yourself or could you just call it a visual aid tool.

  • Petar Tasev says:

    So informative and well structured, tight useful package, thank you!

  • Boris Eribashev says:

    very cool. But it hurts to listen. Purchase a good microphone please.

  • Saiadus Salahin Ishaan says:

    Your videos are so helpful. The really helped me preparing for my art university admission exam.

  • I Made Teguh Arie Baskara says:

    Hi, i watch all your videos XD,- really really help me alot~
    I am really interested to be reviewed by you.
    This is my portfolio link

    Keep up the great video~ Cheers <3

  • mônica naomy says:

    Thank you for all this videos!!!

  • Kumar JR says:

    Hey clint, love your vids, cam you do a video one day on how to better render buildings and architecture? I struggle with rendering such fine details.

  • 章猫文Melvin says:

    Very similar to Ansel Adam's zone-system used for BW photography.

  • Kenneth B says:

    think this is the best youtube intro ive ever seen

  • Chocolate Bun Bun says:

    He's uh….He's sorta hot tho


    I'll go home.

  • Gal says:

    Values are so confusing to me. Both of the versions look great in my eyes. Both B&W versions look pretty much the same lol. I guess I'll get it when I'm better.

  • Rebecca Brooks says:

    Thanks so much for making these videos, there is a lot I have forgotten. You make great tutorials, plus your painting style is wonderful!!!

  • Graham B. Knowles says:

    Great stuff. Was looking for something that explained Value, Color and some more fundamentals. Thank you for posting. Great teaching style.

  • Luis NgchongJrArt says:

    nice video

  • Ömer Tokyay says:

    this video helped me a lot. thanks

  • S1NON says:

    Fantastic explanation! I learned so much, thankyou!

  • Warsaw01 says:

    Thank you for the effort you put in these videos. As someone who can't afford an education in arts but really wishes to improve, your videos are a godsend. You are the best.

  • wang jing oh says:

    thank you so much, your video had taught me something just like you said it's too "busy" on my painting

  • Sebastian Tinajero says:


  • celestial force says:

    This is awesome!! Definitely subscribe to you!

  • D-RDM says:

    I watched many value tutorials but only yours explain the problems well ,thank you so much for very clear tutorial

  • Matt Hubel says:

    The info about fragmented values was great!

  • Jim Gallagher says:

    Thanks! Great video. Very solid and well explained.

  • cheese toastie says:

    how would you separate the values into levels if the image you're producing doesnt have nearly as much depth as the one you showed? For example an image of someone simply sitting on a couch or something that doesn't have as much distance to clearly distinguish the levels of value?
    Thanks for the video!

  • LeoAngelo Art says:

    Clear and informative video. Thank you I hope to get to your level one day.

  • Bruno Xavier Leite says:

    Art is Science! 😀

  • andy upton says:

    Yee nissa

  • orenji says:

    Loving this… you're very straightforward and it's very easy to understand what you're explaining. I appreciate this content very much.

  • Cestarian Inhabitant says:

    I actually think I prefer the contrast rich 'fragmented values' version but I do understand your logic. Controlling your value ranges is a good tip though, I'll take it. I really like full range (and always laugh at how much people always say not to use completely white or black hehe, my favorite pics use the full range), but it never occurred to me that I don't have to use it for the entire image, just the focal points. Now I know. This is pretty good stuff, I think I'll subscribe.

  • Professora Patrícia Balan says:

    First time ever watching your channel. I just love your style!

  • Rodrigo Assis says:

    Dude you are unbelievable, that's exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

  • Melodias says:


  • PlayCebo Vision says:

    I've been an artist all my life, and have been struggling with digital painting for more than 2 years. I am really struggling with values, and I just can't seem to wrap my brain around it :/

  • Ello says:

    love the video bro, really informative

  • Kris Fox says:

    wow very enjoyable video 🙂 and educational

  • ash watson says:

    your intro is awesome

  • BioNotZ MateZ says:

    Is it bad that I like the more fragmented value one a bit more? It looks more detailed, I understand that the eye should have some rest, but the details look slightly better! Although I do agree, it does not work when it’s smaller, and the piece hurts the eye a bit when you look to long.

  • kekzezerkruemler says:

    wow awesome video ö.o !
    found it cause of a friend 🙂
    thanks for uploading and sharing !

  • MetalMan2k says:

    Awesome Video! I really need to study more. Thanks for this very informative video!

  • Shana Causaren says:

    Thank you!!! This helped me so so so much!!!

  • THE Berrby says:

    Wow~ Very very great video sir. Thank you!

  • TheImpala1980 says:

    Seriously digging these Art Fundamental series. I'm curious will you be going over the other sections too…Basic Anatomy, Composition, and Observation Skills. Best of luck and thank you for doing these informative videos!

  • Lavern Spencer says:

    Thanks babe

  • Eleni Verykokidi says:

    Thank you so much for your videos and for explaining everything in a nice and easy to understand way!! They are all great!! 😀

  • abmong says:

    Your intro should come with epilepsy trigger warning!

  • Wolf Reviewing says:

    guys dont bother with drawing tutorials or trying to learn to draw let me tell u why its true

    you are born with artistic talent or not i mean sure you can follow it
    but that dont mean ur a good drawer and you wont become better its just
    what your born with i can validate this by

    i said i wish i could be a good drawer someone said to me if you
    practise everyday for years you will be better has that happened > no
    it has not and ive been trying for 11years hm?

    and then i read online that you are only born with it or your not so
    yeah dont get your dreams up because what people say are bullshit

    or ive just had bad luck and experience and most of all[ I AINT BORN TO DRAW HUH]

    me beacuse if i couild learn to draw good and learn to draw photo or
    just realisitc i would be fucking life complete but its not possiblke
    beacuse im not born to draw ive watch all videos on youtube too I CANNOT

  • yeet says:

    wow super useful thank you so much

  • Giorgia Murray says:

    The thing about the music really helped me to understand as a musician

  • Moth Coffins says:

    Good one

  • Princess Umaru says:

    i'm so glad i came across this channel.

  • Dan Leydon says:

    GREAT video

  • Calptare Peacocks says:

    Thank you so much for this video.
    Now I can finally understand what artists mean with values.

  • Julia Luz says:


  • Mavors says:

    after seeing the drawing at around 6:47, I had to look at reality for a second, or else I felt like my eyes would explode

  • Mavors says:

    just a tip for you! at the end around "recap", you talked a bit too fast, for me to pick up and understand everything you said.
    but I learned a lot from this video! very helpful for me! this will make it easier for me to begin on understanding values and such much better!

  • Ziadd Rho says:

    This is exactly what i've been looking for! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • Jon Snow says:

    you are AAA instructor… but u need better microphone

  • Jun TheMaledicted says:

    When you squint you can actually see the color is the same for square a and b

  • BungyStudios says:

    Anyone who uses that song in their intro gets my instant subscription.

  • DXMYANA says:

    Great video!

  • Balmy Trương says:

    what a great video! thank you so much

  • Lorenzo Maria Martini says:

    am I the only one who liked hi contrast better?

  • Matthew Hong says:

    Excellent video, thank you

  • Jayfrid says:

    Thank you so much, now I can practice better. You explained it so well and I got some great notes from this

  • AA says:

    Honestly happy because value is easier to mix than an exact color

  • F. Dranka says:

    Awesome class, thanks dude.

  • Yvoire says:

    Learning so much from this video alone! Your channel is a precious source of information and inspiration… and I'd love to get a review from you if at all possible… This is my best piece (I think): I applied some of the ideas I got from this video, but I'm not sure. Is it good enough as it is? Can it be improved and how?
    THank you in advance for any help you can provide!

  • Blur Comics says:

    Draws value line from A to B
    Me: “what kind of sorcery is this!”

  • hamza chaybouti says:

    Hi there, I have just finished this playlist and thank you so much for this informations , so I have one question : can I practice this art fundamentals on all the game art like : characters, backgrounds, assets…etc ?

  • Forever Broken05 says:

    I learnt more in this than I do in lessons. Tysm, subbed

  • Veri Sweet Heoni says:


  • C O R D A N A says:

    Did he make a video on composition and observation skills? I seem to cant find it.

  • CamtheMusicMan says:

    As someone who has looked through the wondrous videos on YouTube, this is the first one that can keep my attention. Thank you:)

  • Johnas stegler says:

    I love the second one.

  • Tcharli Veber says:

    + 1 Subscribe
    + 1 Like

    Man!! legende outros videos para português BR

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