These are some value studies I demonstrated for a student as a starting point to oil painting. I used a piece of Utrect canvas from a canvas pad 12x9 inches. (Nice stuff.) I taped it to a piece of MDF board (Home Depot) and divided it into quarters. I mixed just four values using Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue and T-White. (One of the values was pure white.) The set up has a clear division of light and shadow from a spotlight and having limited ambient light. If you're a beginner, I highly recommend doing a lot of these with simple objects. Avoid shiny objects, glass and flowers. When you look at your subject squint down A LOT while painting. It helps you see the large value shapes simplified. The bottom right quadrant shows how to draw an ellipse by picturing it inside a rectangle. It's not perfect, but close. (I wiped out the rectangle later.) Also pictured, different kind of stroke shapes made with a flat brush. I hope this is helpful to someone out there just starting out. The importance of getting your values right cannot be understated. I have read of art schools that require working in black and white for an entire year before painting with color.
Here is a little 4x6 I painted later just because I thought the set-up was so simple and pretty. It gave me a challenge! I have gotten used to larger sizes. It is for sale at $40. magnify/purchase SOLD