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Art Blog: Monochromatic Blue

Painting this Painting

Hi everyone :) 

I'd like to start an art blog in which I'll share a painting, drawing or picture of mine with you on Patch and write a little bit about it—the background story and process of creating it. I’d also be happy to get some of these paintings out of the house, so let me know if you’re interested in owning any of the paintings I share.

Monochromatic Blue Man & Woman

I painted this picture (in the photo above) a few days ago. It is an 18’’ x 24’’ monochromatic blue acrylic on canvas.

The subject matter of the painting—two blue human heads—is not something I would normally choose to paint; the painting was originally meant to be used in a local hair salon.

Before I began my painting, I started brainstorming ideas. I keep track of my ideas through small ‘thumbnail’ sketches, which I draw on scrap paper or in a little notebook. It is easy to quickly come up with many thumbnail sketches, but rather than testing out many different ideas for this painting, I settled with my very first thumbnail sketch, a drawing of a man and woman’s head, facing away from one another. I used this drawing as my ‘working’ sketch, or the sketch that I would refer to to create my final painting.

After setting up my easel, water, brushes, paper towels, and paints, I painted a background design using three different shades of blue, in addition to black and white. (The use of one color in addition to black and white is what makes a painting monochromatic.) Without any plan in mind, I created a swirly design. 

Once my background was complete, I ‘sketched’ out the shape of two large ovals, which represented where on the canvas the heads would be painted. I proceeded to paint the woman’s face, keeping in mind an imaginary light source, from which the face would be ‘lit’.

It can be very difficult to blend different tints and shades of colors to create the illusion of depth, and it takes a great deal of effort to create a ‘seamless’ transition of color from light to dark or dark to light. In the earlier stages of my work, I find myself painting what looks like a giant messy blob, which I must build upon gradually to create a smoother, cleaner image. It’s easy to become discouraged, but persistence is what makes a picture happen. For example, the first face I painted, of the woman, turned out to be much too dark, and I decided that I needed to start all over again—the next day.

After finishing both the man and woman’s face and hair, I cleaned up the background pattern and made small changes. When I get to the point that my work looks complete enough, I tell myself that I’m finished.

It’s fun to create something out of just paints and canvas and an idea. Unlike photography, with paint, you can create whatever you want—blue people, whatever! 

If you're interested in owning this painting, you can click the "Email the Author" link on this  and send me a message!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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