Most art teachers will agree that value, the range of light and dark in a design, is one of the first principles of painting. My first watercolor teacher said that if the values were right, the color didn't matter. I don't agree with the last part of his statement. His concept of "right" values was too limited. Yesterday I discussed with my class the potential of using value keys to make more expressive paintings. A full value contrast range is visually strong and makes good paintings, but high key, light and bright value contrast can be very appealing. And a deep, somber low-key painting can be moving, as well. The class worked hard on this and there were breakthroughs for some of them. I'll try to remember to take some photos at critique next week when they've had a chance to finish their sketches. They were excited to see their artwork in the mosaic I put on the blog last week with their pure-hue paintings.