As you continue to learn to paint, you are going to find that a knowledge of “values” is important. The two extremes of values are black (very dark) and white (very light). The tone, or value, of a color is more important than the hue. For example, a light red might be balanced by a dark, deep red, or a paler shade. They are all red, but the values are different.
A painting requires these differences to avoid being mid-toned. That is boring. Value or tonal contrast creates interest and excitement in a painting. A good painting will have lights and darks and mid-tones as well. In order to see how this works, try this:
Place your color (try black) on your paper. then gradually add white to it, making streaks of color change under the black. Eventually reach a very light tone, or white. This will give you an idea of what values are. Now try it with other colors. This simple exercise will help you to be a better artist.
A value checker is a useful item. Usually red in color, it is a transparent sheet or tile that can be used to see the darks and lights in your painting. You may consider the painting finished and need to check that everything is okay. Or, you may be struggling with “what is wrong here?” and it may be that the values need repair. In any case, learning about values is an important lesson.