This is the 'value check' for my first painting of 2013, "Arboretum Winter Color," pastel on paper, 24 x 24 inches. I'm pleased with the values that portray a winter afternoon in the Pacific Northwest - mostly mid and dark values with just a touch of light on the white-barked trees. I will hang it on my Studio wall and look at it for a few days to see if it needs any color or detail adjustments before signing it and calling it done.
For a value check on your painting, photograph it and switch the mode to grayscale in your computer with Photoshop Elements or the photo editing application you use. Remember, 'Value does the work, color gets the glory.' (quote from Richard McKinley)