Monochromaticism revisited

I haven’t been writing about watercolors too often recently because I don’t see myself as a watercolorist. Never did.

I’ve always just seen myself as an artist. I use watercolors as my main medium.

For now. This may or may not change but I intentionally keep the future open.

Lately, I’ve been fooling around with gouache a lot more too. I’ve always combined the two but usually 90% watercolors vs 10% gouache. I did a 100% gouache painting a few weeks ago that ended up in the trash because I’m not used to painting with gouache as the main medium yet. It looked bad. Bad enough to toss it out.

But it happens.

Keep your standards high. Don’t let people see your bad works.

You’ll have bad works. They’re inevitable.

Luckily it’s not at all like bands. Some bands will put out absolutely wonderful albums for a short stretch, then afterwards, their music just sucks. U2 immediately comes to mind. I loved everything up until Achtung Baby. After Achtung Baby, their music sounded like corporate suck rock.

I’m sure you can think of quite a few off the top of your head.

With visual arts though, I got good news. You don’t put out bad albums. Rather, you take your bad paintings and throw them out. Then go back to playing to your strengths to get your groove back.

And guess what? It will come back.

Some bands never recover. But you as a visual artist? Simply either go back to playing to your strengths or try something new. And if you need an idea, try this. Paint your subject, whether it’s a bird, a flower, or a beautiful woman, in normal colors. Then paint the background with only one color.

Monochromatic dryads

Do you know what a dryad is? Well, you do. But other people might not so I’ll still explain…

Dryads are tree nymphs from Greek mythology. They’ve been adapted into various modern role playing games, videogames, and anime, and they’re commonly found creatures in modern fantasy novels.

The Greeks had them as nymphs to oak trees but in modern times, they’ve become tree spirits to all types of trees.

Anyways, I’ve written about monochromaticism before. Monochromaticism is simply painting with only one color. You can use different tones or shades of the same color, but keep it to one color. I also use dualchromaticism too usually with 2 very closely related colors. Dualchromaticism is limiting yourself to two colors.

For me, not the girls. Just the background.

It really makes the girls “pop.”

Here are Diana and Sophia as dryads with a monochromatic background. The girls are painted normally but the entire background is Payne’s grey. Then I used white gouache for the stars. So if you want to be technical, yeah, maybe I should have said dualchromaticism. But I’m sure you get the point.

Diana in Dryad at Night
Sophia in Dryad at Night

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