Great Value Studies Lesson (and an optional challenge)

Welcome! Feel free to enjoy the lesson or take the challenge (scroll down) – or both!

Why Value Studies?

Value is, for most artists, the most important thing to master.

Issues with feeling like your colors are muddy or your painting is unfocused are often the result of value confusion.

It is important to be able to see value accurately, and to make good value choices. It takes practice, but having good tools and knowledge will help you progress and become confident much faster.

Lesson on Value (10 min)



Try the challenge (scroll down). You don’t need to share it – but try the studies and see what you learn about value, and about yourself!


Print out these two value charts on a piece of card stock, thick paper, or printing paper. Download 3 value chart | Download 9 value chart.

Want more information about value charts? Here is a short video on how to use the 3 value chart. It’s hard to mix a value accurately when you’re not sure what you see – and this chart helps with that.


Challenge: Draw or paint 5 value studies of the same object. Limit yourself to 3 or 4 values.


The object can be anything from an orange to a photograph to a landscape. The point of making so many value studies of the same object is that after the first one or two, you will have to really push yourself to think differently. In fact, the more simple the initial object, the further you will have to push yourself out of your comfort zone to do all 10 value studies!

Your value studies can be rough or finished pencil drawings, value paintings, or anything else that gets the value down.

You might find yourself playing with value schemes, really investigating your object, or exploring unusual compositions. You will learn about the subject of your studies, about value, and about your own preferences. Let me know what you learn!

Would you like me to share your artwork with my 5k Instagram followers?

Just post your favorite challenge study / studies (or another piece of artwork based on the challenge) on Instagram, and add @jessierasche and #jessieraschechallenge anywhere in your post, so I see it. I’ll share your post in my stories, linking back to you!

Or if you would rather just share your challenge studies with me for feedback, feel free to email me.

Happy painting!