How to paint in monochrome


Colours can either have a dampening effect on your mood or a positive, more uplifting effect on you! By exploring monochrome in your painting, you will be challenging a fun project. Painting in monochrome will teach you important art lessons in contrast, composition and shape.

Monochromatic paintings help artists understand how light and colours can create shapes within a composition. Painting in different hues of the same colour will hone your observation skills, aiding you in identifying colours in the future. It will also help you identify brightness and contrast.

Here are some points on monochromatic painting for beginners to help you understand how to paint in monochrome with acrylics, better.

What you will need:

• A reference image
• Camlin Pencils
• Tracing paper
• An opaque paint of your choice + White paint from the Camlin Artist’s Acrylic Colour 12 Assorted  Colours Set
• A small palette knife
• Brushes
• A painting surface of your choice

Step 1: The five gradients rule

Pick the colour you would like to use for your monochromatic painting. You will be using this colour to create five variations for your artwork.

Make five small portions of this colour separately to create different gradients. Ensure that each of the gradients is different. Make enough and set aside on separate plastic sheets that can be covered easily.

Step 2: Choosing your reference image

Pick a reference image that has a fair amount of contrast. A good way to check this is to digitally change the image to greyscale. If, in the black and white version of the image, you can clearly make out a variety of tones, then the image has a good contrast. If it all looks like it has almost the same grey, then pick another image.

Step 3: Print outs

Get a print out of the image in the size you would like your artwork to be.

Step 4: Trace the image

Trace the distinct blocks of tones as shapes on your tracing paper. Give each tone a number from 1 to 5 and write down the number based on how dark or light you want the colour tone to be.

Step 5: Transferring the image

Since you used a tracing paper, transferring the image on the canvas of your choice will not be difficult.

Step 6: Painting

Now paint each section of the image basis the colour you assigned to it with the help of your reference image.

Step 7: Details of your painting

Once you have painted each section, add details as you see in your reference image.

Don’t shy away from using a second coat of paint if you can still see the numbers through the paint.

Now simply let the painting dry and et viola! Your beautiful monochromatic piece of a painting is ready to be hung or displayed!

Did this article help you understand how to create monochromatic painting? How did it go? Do let us know in the comments section below!

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