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Watercolour basics and beyond

Part 8 David Webb demonstrates the benefits of painting in one colour


■ How to recognise and interpret tonal values

■ Add more impact to your work

■ How to show depth in your paintings

Working in monotone is a very useful exercise. The ability to interpret tonal values, and then apply them to your painting, goes such a long way to giving your work drama and impact regardless of your chosen medium. Working in monotone, apart from being a useful exercise in itself, can also be used to create work of interest and beauty.

What is monotone painting?

In monotone painting, in watercolour, we use a single pigment, which is capable of producing a range of tones from the darkest dark to the lightest light when diluted with water. Black, indigo and sepia are all suitable.

By omitting other colours, you are free to concentrate solely on the lights and darks. We can all see a range of tones in a black and white photo, but it is a different matter when it comes to looking at a landscape of greens, browns and blues and then trying to determine which colours are light, mid-toned or dark.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the Summer issue of Leisure Painter, where we aim to cover all your favourite media and subjects . In this month's issue you will find all the help you'll need for drawing or painting landscapes, flowers, animals, harbour scenes, seascapes, weather effects and more in watercolour, acrylics, oils, pastels and drawing media. Learn how to find the perfect view when sketching outdoors and find confidence-boosting tips for painting in public when you venture out this year. From how to make marks in graphite and reproduce textures in nature to three important considerations when painting from photographs, enjoy your month of painting with Leisure Painter