Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Monochromatic Painting

Monochromatic Painting, Art 2

Well, its been an awful long time since I did my last blog post but I've got a plethora of new project pictures that I've compiled from an entire year of school. The first project on the agenda is monochromatic paintings. I really like this project because it's one where the students can choose almost any kind of content to include in their painting as long as they make it monochromatic. More advanced students can choose something more complex and struggling students can find something a little simpler. I find that when a student is personally vested in the imagery they're painting then they'll put forth more effort into the completion of the project.


  1. Acrylic paint (The ones I did last year were with tempera but acrylic would have been a lot better)
  2. Variety of paint brush sizes. ( If you want consistent quality from your students then get a full range of decent brushes)
  3. Water cups
  4. Paper towels
  5. Palettes
  6. Thick painting paper 


  1. I did a short practice assignment before beginning the actual project because this was the first painting assignment we did in my Art 2 class. I had the class complete 6 color value scales. These were 1 inch squares, 7 columns wide and 10 rows long. The fourth row was pure color and above that were shades of  the color and below were tints of the color. This assignment worked well to show students what colors they had to work with for their new project and how to mix them. 
  2. I told students a few days before beginning our paintings that they would need to find a personal photograph that they or a friend had taken. 
  3. I reserved some computers in the library computer lab. 
  4. Most students brought their photos in on a thumb drive or on their phone. From there we put them on the computer and played with the setting until they had a monochromatic photo in a color they liked. If a student brought in a printed photo then we just used a scanner to get it into the computer. 
  5. Once they acquired their photo then I let them choose what size grid they wanted to work with and they grided their photos and painting paper. 
  6. Next they simply began painting their project using only shades and tint of one color. I will warn you against using tempera paint. We used tempera for these projects you see pictured below and got some nice results but it was a real pain in the butt. You can't really work in layers with tempera paint the way you can with acrylic, and layers are a real big part of these monochromatic paintings. The tempera paint seemed to absorb each layer you tried to put on top so it took tons of layers to get the shade or tint that you wanted to achieve. Just use acrylic paint.

Comment below and let me know if you have suggestions, advice, or tips for this art project.  ^-^ 

Student Examples

Practice assignment/ value scales

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