Introduction: WATER COLOUR PAINTING WITH SINGLE COLOUR

About: seafood student/realistic portrait artist

Water colours are the easiest to work with. The best way to practise working with them is to create simple paintings with grades of a single colour. Beginners normally do not understand the tones a single colour can create therefore they end up using multiple colours which is quite unnecessary sometimes. You can create just about any painting with a single watercolour: portraits, landscapes, objects. Portraits are comparatively difficult to work on. I will be showing how to paint an image of the waves of sea and the sky in this instructable.

Step 1: COLLECT MATERIALS

  • Painting brushes
  • Water colours
  • Paper
  • Other essentails

I used pointed round water colour brushes of size 2 and 10; Camel artist water colours (student grade) and 130gsm A4 paper. Other essentials include pencil, scale, container for keeping for water, palette.

Step 2: SELECT a PICTURE

Choose a picture you would want to paint. While choosing an image keep in your mind that one colour you want to paint with. If an image contains a lot of black, and say you want to paint with only yellow water colour, then it is not a correct choice. Therefore select a picture according to the colour you wish to paint with. Or else select the water colour after you choose an image.

My boyfriend was sweet enough to let me steal one of his clicked pictures for this :P

Step 3: CHEAT STEP: PHOTOSHOP

This is a step you can do for easy understanding of the lighter and darker shades. In a picture there are multiple colours and hence it can be confusing as where to add lighter and darker tones of a single colour. You can either choose a simple grayscale image or you can tint it with a colour for better understanding.

I used Adobe Photoshop express for this which you can install for free from Google Playstore or you can edit the picture online; there are many photoediting apps and websites available.

  1. Change the image into a grayscale one.
  2. Open dual tone
  3. Use the blue tint

You can see here that I have chosen blue colour for my painting.

Step 4: COLOUR GRADIENT

This is a good exercise to understand the different tones of that colour and gives you an idea of the ratio of paint to water that you must use to get a certain tone. The first one on the grade scale is the darkest which has very less water. As you keep adding little amounts of water to the paint the tone becomes lighter.

Colour gradient studies are a must for beginners!

Here I have used Prussian Blue colour.

Step 5: MAKE IT NEAT

Water colours tend to spread really fast. So to make it neat just draw some border lines with a pencil for reference. Or you can put cellotapes on the border so the water colours do not spread beyond the border.

Step 6: START PAINTING!

Generally for water colours you are supposed to start with the lightest tone and then go on to darker ones. This is because in case of water colours once you have applied a darker tone you cannot achieve a lighter one over it.

You can see that i have started with the darkest tone because I found it easier to do the waves.

Second trick that I applied here is that I put really small closely set dots of the colour where the horizon is supposed to be. When I set the lighter tones of the colour over it, the gaps fill and it gives a far off shimmering look of the sea.

Step 7: FINISH THE PAINTING!

Because I set the darker values for the waves earlier, I mostly used water to do the lighter tones for completing it.

For the sky, I started with the lightest value and then went on to the darkest.

The image gives you the whole idea of where the light and dark tones should be and where you should not put any paint at all (for white areas). So just follow the image closely, keep painting, and you'll end up with a complete monochrome painting!

Step 8: CLICK PICTURES AND SHARE!

Frame it, stick it, gift it, click beautiful pictures of it and share!

Colors of the Rainbow Contest

Runner Up in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest