Monotone Paintings

Study for High Tide, The Gyles

For a number of years I have been doing monotone paintings. I mix black and white oil paint to a limited number of tones usually 4 or 5. I use these to paint my subjects. l love doing these paintings however when I crave more colour I can revert to my full colour palette. My website now has a gallery showing a selection of these paintings, which you can see from the following link

Summer Sunset, Study, Pastel SOLD


Last thing before retiring to bed I went into the studio and was presented with a spectacular sunset. Only one thing to do was to try to capture its essence in a matter of minutes. I just grabbed a scrap piece of pastel card and a box of pastels and worked on this study. I could barely see the colours in my box however my hand seemed to guide me towards the colours required.  Using vibrant pastels I have managed to recreate the sunset as I remember it. The next morning it was nice to see this study in daylight.

The Orchard, Pastel


After a busy time with the open studio I treated myself to lunch at Pillars of Hercules. I had intended to do outdoor painting when I was out and about. As soon as I sat down I knew I wanted to sketch the view in front of me. Fortunately I had my pastels in the car and a board to work on. This was the sketch I worked on. Lunch was excellent as always, great place to relax.

Croft On Barra, Pastel SOLD



This painting is a demonstration which I did last week at Cupar Art Club. I arrived with a prepared underpainting in watercolour. I talked through why I had prepared a watercolour underpainting in complementary colours. I then proceeded to apply the local colour of the scene leaving some of the underpainting to show through. This had the effect of making the colours sing and can lead to a more realistic looking painting. Multiple colours working together can give a greater sense of reality. Degas was aware of these techniques and experimented with a variety of undertones and underpainting techniques to get the effect he was after. It was useful to have my home made colour wheel at hand as shown above.

Glen Orchy, Pastel SOLD


The first image shows how I started this painting. I blocked in a selection of complementary colours onto Pastelmat card which can take watermedia. Next I sprayed some pastel liquefier to soften and fix the colours to the card. Such a fun way to approach a new painting. I then did some light drawing with charcoal.The top layer of pastel was then applied in colours true to the scene.