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09-05-2005, 02:54 PM
I like to sketch charcoal when a friend suggested I try doing a black and white painting instead. This is a Payne's Gray and White watercolor on canvas board. I am very new to painting so I realize technique needs work, but where and how?

jon n
09-06-2005, 05:20 AM
Hi Brenda -

Painting with a limited palette is a great exercise because it makes you think hard about tone. If you're used to charcoal then this is probably something you're good at anyway. Its something I'm hopeless at so I think I may do one of these too :-)

Watercolours are translucent which means the experts can make the white paper shine through them. When you lighten watercolours with white paint you make them opqaue and everything gets a bit dull. I can see that the donkey's forehead and the load on the cart have a lot of white in them which has made them a dense, chalky grey.

If you want to learn watercolours I'd cut out the white and try painting with just *one* colour. That means you'll have to thin down your Paynes Grey to lighten it, and you'll have to paint the light areas first and the dark ones last. Also, I'm not sure what sort of canvas board you're using - but I'd move to watercolour paper.

On the other hand, If you want to continue with your current technique you could try acrylics or goache where you can add the lighter areas with opaque paint later.

BTW - I'm new to this forum but think this post should have gone in the "Gallery" section.

- Jon

09-06-2005, 07:21 AM
You will have noticed, Brenda, that I have moved this to the "Studio" as you may be doing more work on it.


09-06-2005, 09:57 AM
Hi, Brenda...

If you want to do black, gray and white ... a better black
is a mix... i.e., FUB, Aliz Crimson, BU... there are threads
aplenty on mixing both blacks, greens and purples... A
mixed black/dark will have more life to it, with the lighter
shades achieved by watering down the mix ... Try it,
you might like it...

Jo in Georgia

09-06-2005, 11:11 AM
Hi Brenda and welcome from another retired nurse..:wave: :)

I havr ejust started taking life drawing classes, and I am using willow charcoal. New experience and I am loving it, biththe willow and the classes.

Monochromatic painting is a great way to learn the use of values.. Values sketches are a invalueable tool pre-painting..

Have a read of this thread on VALUES (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=247961&highlight=classroom)you willget what I mean.

Now having said all that, monochromatic paintings can be very beautiful. I wouldn't use white watercolour paint tho', Jon has good advice on that.

Have a go painting this again, using one colour only. Don't use white, just use the white of the board/paper.

09-06-2005, 04:53 PM
:o Wow I didn't think I'd get so many responses! I do appolige if I posted in the wrong area, I am still trying to find my way around the many forums. First, thank you all for the invaluable advice and insight you have given me. I will follow up on the sites you've suggested also. I chose the Payne's Grey because of the natural variation of hues and when blended with the white I get a palette similar to what I would have if I used charcoal and Q-tip or chamois to blend, lighten or shade. However the idea of using pure black on pure white board IS intriguing...I may start a new project with this method and use just the Payne's to correct the shading and perspectives of this one. What do you all think? Brenda :confused: