top of page
  • Writer's pictureHilda Van Netten

Tones, Tones, Tones

Resuming art classes has been a challenging exercise of implementing social distancing protocols balanced with the joy of just being in the same room as other artists. Today, 6 students picked up where they left off a year and a half ago. For one, it had been even longer. Our artists ranged from one who is learning how to sketch portraits......

..... to another working on a chalk-pastel landscape of a Northumberland County scene.

Sometimes, it's a good exercise to look at your painting in black & white. This helps you see your tones clearer. Do you have a wide variety of tones? I think this painting works because this artist has a wide range of tones, and those tones are not in equal amounts. Just a bit of the lightest white makes this painting come alive.

For the chalk-pastel horse portrait below, there is very little difference between the coloured version and a black and white one.

The artist below is finding her painting style. After working on the leaves by layering washes of colour, she is now using a fine dispenser to paint liquid masking fluid on grasses in the background. When that dries, she will paint the back ground wet-on-wet to give some depth to the painting. She will be able to paint over the masked grasses and achieve continuity in shapes.

Looks good in black and white. The tones around the edges show clearly here.

The artist below is experimenting with using only two colours of pastel pencils... black and white. Her paper is a mid-tone grey. So, she works lighter from the paper with the white and darker than the paper with the black. With all three tones, she is able to get a good image.

Our final artist is working on a bowl of bird's eggs using watercolour paints on Arches 300 lb. paper.

This one comes through very nicely in black and white. There is a nice balance of tones.

33 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page