so finally I think I have something informative to talk about, so I take the time and write a little post again. Hopefully little, so people actually read it.
If you are struggling with values, which at some point I think everybody does who does painting and drawing (I still do), then maybe I can help you a little.
1) seperate the light side from the dark and keep each seperated throughout the painting
2) values are numerized to make them easier to handle. In Photoshop black is 0, white is 100.
3) to make the seperation easier, use only a limited range of values (Jonathan Hardesty uses 2 for the darks and 3 for the lights, so try it out, since he knows what he is talking about)
4) if you use Photoshop, it helped me a ton to make my value ramp web-safe. That way, Photoshop simplifies the value range for you to 0 (black), 20, 40, 60, 80, 100 (white)
Now you can easily use a 10 (or even 0) and a 20 value for the darks and say 40, 60 and 80 for the lights. If done correct, you don't need detail to make stuff look "right". It will look right because the big forms are reading like they are supposed to.
I did this small study to clarify this point. I kept the light and dark side very seperated and didn't mix the values in each side with the values of the other side. It helped in keeping the study simple and readable.
So that's it for now, try it out and do a little value study and post it in the comments.
All the best,