Value refers to the relative lightness or darkness of a certain area. Value can be used for emphasis. Variations in value are used to create a focal point for the design of a picture. A light figure on a dark background will be immediately recognized as the center of attention, similarly
for a dark figure on a mostly white background.

Gradations of value are also used to create the illusion of depth. Areas of light and dark can give a three-dimensional impression, such as when shading areas of a person body.