I have been working outdoors recently doing the occasional workshops but also getting out to do my own studies.
One of the things I really enjoy doing is loose 3 value studies to work on the design and balance of my painting. Limiting the values really forces you to concentrate on the larger shapes and not get too drawn into detail which is useful for quick studies, needed outdoors, and also forces me out of my too tight illustrative ways!
Too many values can also lessen the strength of the composition and confuse the eye. The following were done using a large mop brush and Payne's Grey watercolour paint, the landscapes were done outdoors and the bird and animal studies in the studio.
I like to do this to build up the shape and design of a painting first and think about what edges I will use, if it works in black and white hopefully it will work in full colour!