Probably the single most important attribute of a painting. You as the artist control what you want to say and using Value will help you do this.
It will point the viewer to the area you are most excited about - the center of interest.
It will help set the tone for the work - misty and moody? light and airy? heavy with contrast?
Finally it will bring that WOW factor - the thing that captures the viewer's attention.
You may not be interested in entering competitions. However it is useful to know that when works are chosen for exhibitions the judges have often less than an minute per slide to judge the work. Value is what grabs their attention first. Just knowing that may help you with your work also.
These help create interest within your painting. Hard lines and soft edges. Busy areas contrasting with quiet ones. Textures and smooths. Adding these to your painting will hold the viewer once you have lured him/her in.
A huge area that we only touched upon. Try to use some sort of structure in your painting to move the viewer's eyes through the painting. If you only know one or two - that is enough for now.
Finally PROBLEM SOLVING
No matter how much you plan ahead, there will be problems arising as you paint. Don't be afraid to depart from your carefully laid plans. Move the work around, viewing it from different angles. Does it work? Look in a mirror. Now does it? Leave some room for spontaneity.
Next semester we're going to continue to add tools to that box. But all of the next ones will relate to color. We'll be looking a different artists and how they handle color. We'll discuss mood, lighting, and that horrible phrase "color theory". And we'll use what we learn to take your work to an even higher level.