Value is:

value scaleValue contrast refers to the degree of variation between light and dark. The highest value contrast is obtained using just black and white. The narrower the range of values, the lower the value contrast. When the range is limited to light values it is referred to as high key; a limited range of dark values is called low key.

Value is often used to add volume to a shape; gradual shading on a circle will make it look like a sphere. Value is also used to create the illusion of space (atmospheric perspective); areas with high value contrast come forward while those with low value contrast recede into the distance. Value can add emphasis; areas of high contrast will stand out in areas of low contrast.

Value can evoke feelings or moods. Low value contrast creates a subtle, restrained effect that feels calm and quiet. High value contrast evokes drama and conflict. The light values of high key images convey the sense of happiness and lightness, mid-range values evoke sadness and depression, and the dark values of low key images create feelings of fear and mystery. In terms of visual weight, darker values feel heavier than lighter values.

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