Bill Okamura Portrait in Monochrome

9″w x 11″h watercolor monochrome (paynes grey) on 140lb Fabriano wc paper.

Here is a portrait of a fellow artist, Bill Okamura. This month’s Spokane Watercolor Society meeting. The January challenge was to do a painting using only one color.

What was the result? A realization that “monochrome” changes how I approach a painting. Basically, the values become key, and other colors are not there to distract me as I paint. Using value to get depth and shape.

The chosen color used for this image was Payne’s Gray by Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors  economically available at Spokane Art Supply. Below is the painting in process after only a few light washes establish the figure.

portrait Bill Okamura

Our monthly meeting for the Spokane Watercolor Society was at Spokane Art supply at 10am yesterday. Seeing my artist friends and their work is the inspiring to me. Bill did a monochrome painting of an old car that was spectacular! Hope he shares with us.

Being able to share methods and techniques is so valuable to me.

Monochrome Painting

portraite Diane Conkright
9″w x 11″h watercolor monochrome (blue) on 140lb Fabriano wc paper. SWS meeting challenge monochrome (blue) portrait Diane Conkright.

A monochrome painting, the start or beginning for a monochrome “monthly member challenge” of the Spokane Watercolor Society meeting scheduled for January 18th at 10am  at Spokane Art Supply. I love these different monthly challenges because they make me stretch my abilities and try new things. Being able to see and discuss the methods used with other members makes the lessons learned so much better.

Really, this is NOT something I “never” do. I actually love to do a a black and white rendering first for almost every painting done in color. It is the natural was for me to see things for lighting, you know…. where are the  shadows, and where does the light burn it white. Yep.

In fact, I took a Ron Stocke weekend workshop last year at Spokane Art Supply and absolutely loved it. Ron is a talented professional that I totally admire, and he does amazingly beautiful plein air work with a full understanding of architectural design. It was fun learning a different system of painting. Ron’s first step is, sketching, followed by a monochrome layout study to paint from. It was a great feeling to see a professional like him use monochrome studies the same way I start my projects.

Dale Latinen is another professional artist giving a great local weekend workshop through the Spokane Watercolor Society, Check it out here at Dale Latinen Workshop , April 2-5th, 2020. Places are filling up fast.