The word value as it is used in drawing is a translation from the French word valeur, and as used by artists it refers to the relations of light and dark.

Value drawing represents objects exactly as we see them in nature; that is, not as outline, but as masses of lights and darks. In value drawing the artist reproduces with absolute truth the different degrees of light and shade. While form drawing suggesests relief, value drawing represents it, and it also represents by translating them into their corresponding tones of gray, the values of color. In form drawing, a draftsman representing a red object and a yellow one, would be satisfied to give correct proportions and outlines with one or two principal shadows, while a value drawing of the same objects would show not only the relation of the shadows as they are in nature, but also the further truth that the red object was as a whole darker than the yellow one. The light side of the red object might even be found to be darker in value or tone than the shadow side of the yellow form.