The Art Project: Monochromatic Painting

This is based on Kawase Hasui’s print “Moonlight in Izumo Providence”. We'll do a monochromatic artwork.

MATERIALS NEEDED: White paper, tempera paint (blue, white & black), brush, water container
, paper plate (to use as pallet to mix paints) and newspaper.

Step 1 - Using pencil very lightly, divide your paper into 3 parts by drawing the background(the sky), the middle ground (the ocean), and the foreground (the land).

Step 2 - Starting at the background you will notice it is made of 3 horizontal parts. The sky starts with a shade (black added to your pure color, which is blue in this case), pure color (blue)and tint (white added to your pure blue color).

Step 3 - Start painting the top of the background by adding very little black to your pure blue color and mix well.

Step 4 - For the middle part of your sky use a pure blue. Then the bottom part of your sky is a tint.

Step 5 - The ocean is also made of 3 horizontal parts. You will start with a tint. This tint should be a bit lighter than your lightest sky tint. Paint the top of the ocean with this tint.

Step 6 - The middle of the ocean use almost the same blue tint you used for your bottom part of the sky. The bottom of the ocean use a shade (add very very little black to your pure blue color) that is almost the same color as the middle part of your sky.

Step 7 - The foreground is also divided into 3 horizontal parts. It’s almost a gray color so use very little blue…no pure blue color at all.

Step 8 - Start at the bottom of the foreground with a shade slightly darker than the shade you used for the top of the sky. The middle of the foreground should be the same shade as your darker part of the sky and the top side of the foreground should be slightly lighter than the last color used, so you need to add more white.

Step 9 - The rock in the middle of the ocean is also divided into 3 horizontal parts. Using the darker shade you used for the foreground go to the middle of the ocean part and paint the bottom part of the rock (horizontal), use the middle color you used in your foreground for the middle of the rock and the last light shade for the top of the rock.

Step 10 - Go back to the sky and using white paint with a few drops of water mixed well, paint some clouds.

Step 11 - Go back to the ocean and again, using white paint with less water than the clouds paint some waves.

Step 12 - Dry your brush very well and dip into white paint and then splatter around the bottom of the rock a bit of paint by putting your brush near the area and pulling the bristles away from the paper so that tiny drops splatter around the paper. Make some waves splashing against the rocks too.

Step 13 - You can now draw the trunk of the trees. Remember that trees are not straight lines and that they reach the top of the page to the bottom. Some of them you do see roots, which you can paint. The tree trunks are painted in a slightly darker shade than the darkest part of the foreground so you will need little pure blue and more black. Paint odd number of trees, as odd numbers work best in artwork.

Step 14 - Using a dry brush and very little paint on your brush use the same shade of paint you used for the trunk of the trees but now barely dab the tip of the almost dry brush (with very little paint
)on the areas where the leaves of the trees would go on your paper.

Step 15 - Using a lighter shade of paint, on the right side of each tree trunk draw a line from top of the trunk to the bottom of the trunk to make it look as though it’s reflecting the light of the moon. 

Read more about Kawase Hasui here.

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