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quinachridone burnt orange


paynes gray




The above series of paintings were an experiment in value. The top three were painted using only one color. It is not as easy as it looks. I had read in several watercolor books about trying this and then painting the scene in color. I did that with the desert scene. It was very helpful  for the desert scene because the reference I used for it was very blurry and mostly mid tones. It was so bad that I could not decipher colors very well. By having done a value study, before hand, the actual color painting worked out really well.


The above is a painting I did on a grunge background. I have a tutorial for this technique here.


I had a wet canvas reference photo for this laying around for about a year. I had found it in the industrial photos and have no idea what it is. It looked too difficult for me to even attempt and the colors in the photo were really dull.  I took this on as a challenge and tried to make it a little more interesting by brightening the color and paying attention to how I rendered all the different shapes.

Thank you for visiting as I have not been as present lately.


  1. They are all so good!!! Love the the one with the man playing something😀

    • Thank you! I think the man is playing some kind of steel drum. They didn’t look like the ones I’ve seen but figured they might be homemade? Maybe someone else will know and tell us in their comment.

  2. These painting results turned out really nice! I admire you and your attempts with practicing several styles on paper. Best method for learning and developing confidence and your own style. I am happy that you are back posting your painting skills on WP. Hope to see more.

  3. You’re right Leslie, painting with just one colour really isn’t easy at all – but it’s SUCH a useful exercise. Since reading a post from Carol King about the “grisaille” technique I often do an under-painting in a monochrome to establish the values, then use transparent colours on top – it’s very effective – and you nailed it!

    The grunge background works so well on the painting of the man playing the drum. There’s plenty of detail in this image, yet none of it detracts from the main focus on his figure. The last painting of the oil equipment is a triumph – not something I’d choose to take on – and yet you managed to make it look interesting and I can almost feel the sun beating down – good work with all those architectural straight lines that would have hurt my head to paint.

  4. I think I like the pains gray and the street drummer the best. I like the angularity of the industrial photo, too. I asked John if he could guess its purpose, but he didn’t know. It almost looks as though some converter belts should be there.

  5. Hi Leslie, Glad to see you posted. You’ve been very busy! Love all your monochromatic paintings. I sometimes do a grisaille painting before I add color. Why don’t you try and add color on top of your payne’s gray study. It would be interesting to see how it comes out compared to your full color desert scene.

    Love your other paintings too, Really drawn to the industrial one. Beautiful.

    Hope you are well.

  6. Beautiful work!

  7. As always your posts are a valuable teaching tool. Your last watercolor is very nice. Clear and crisp and good color without being too much. I’m getting ready to check out your grunge painting. I have never heard of this….Thank you!

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