Monochrome painting for beginners

Create your own stunning artwork using this monochrome painting for beginners project designed by Esther Curtis.

Monochrome painting for beginners

Less is more with Esther Curtis’ mindful shapes project that explores the beauty of blue. Evocative indigo is a powerful colour that conjures up many images, such as the deepest part of the ocean to our favourite pair of jeans.

Apply a calming pale wash to your paper, or layer it up for a vibrant monochrome intensity, then add simple patterns in white for a fun and creative twist.

This monochrome painting for beginners project is a great way to have a go at creating your own monochrome artwork. It will also help you to practice your watercolour painting skills.

We’ve used a white Posca pen to create the patterns on the surface of the monochrome shapes, but you could also use white gouache paint to do this if you don’t have a Posca pen to hand. Don’t worry if you make a mistake or change your mind, you can paint over it and start again.

Before you start, take a look at our pick of the best watercolour paints to order the materials you need.

Looking for more painting tips? Build your skills with our acrylic painting guide, beginner’s guide to gouache and watercolour painting for beginners guide. If you’re looking for more artistic inspiration, take a look at our easy watercolour painting ideas, art journal ideas and fall painting ideas.

Read on to have a go at Esther’s monochrome painting for beginners project.


You Will Need

  • Watercolour paper
  • Watercolour paints
  • Brushes, various sizes
  • Uni Posca paint pen, white

Total time:

Step 1

There is no need to sketch anything out for this project, just go for it! Use your brush to wet the paper, ‘painting’ the shape you want, then mix up a dark indigo colour (blue with a tiny amount of red) and let it flood into your shapes. Vary the tones for dark and light shades.

Monochrome painting for beginners step one

Step 2

When your paint has completely dried, start drawing your patterns onto the darker shapes with a white Posca pen.

Monochrome painting for beginners step two

Step 3

Use a fine brush and a deeper mix of indigo to paint patterns on the lighter coloured shapes.

Monochrome painting for beginners step three

Step 4

Add touches of deep indigo to patterns wherever you think it needs it.

Monochrome painting for beginners step four

You’re all done! Now all you need to do is to find somewhere in your home to display your beautiful work of monochrome art.


Monochrome painting for beginners