WATER COLOUR PAINTING WITH SINGLE COLOUR

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About: seafood student/realistic portrait artist

Intro: WATER COLOUR PAINTING WITH SINGLE COLOUR

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!

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    13 Discussions

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    JinoS1

    3 months ago

    Superbb...sushu...

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    mapyron

    4 months ago

    I have always wanted to learn watercolors . Now i have a project to practice and learn . I do have Photoshop on my PC and never thouught about converting tor using it in conjunction with actual painting on a surface . Thanks

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    ssahoo10mapyron

    Reply 4 months ago

    Thank you for reading through. Do practice and share :)

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    Klayton Kress

    4 months ago

    What was the purpose of photoshopping the image? You don't cover what you do with it in any step. Do you lay it under your paper on a light box and trace the areas with paint? Do you simply reference it?

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    ssahoo10Klayton Kress

    Reply 4 months ago

    Thank you for pointing that out. I notice now that I simply wrote a single line on the use of it. I have added a little more on the purpose of it.

    I used the image as a reference. I don't have any idea about light boxes but water colour papers are generally quite thick so I don't think tracing is possible..

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    Kink Jarfold

    4 months ago

    I usually paint in acrylics and have always been intimidated by water colors. Your explanation was wonderful and very informative. In fact, someday I might even give water colors a try. thanks so much for this instructable.

    2 replies
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    ssahoo10Kink Jarfold

    Reply 4 months ago

    Thank you so much for reading through! I myself was once intimidated by water colours. The first time I used them I had no idea how to and ended up pasting lots of colour to the paper. One or two youtube video tutorials are enough to grasp the idea. I hope you do try them. Paintings with water colours don't look as bright as with acrylic. But once you use them you'll find they are much easier than acrylic. :P

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    misko13

    4 months ago

    This is really cool. Loved the Instructable!

    1 reply