Hi Everyone! In a world of beautiful colors that surround us, it is hard to imagine any scene in just one color. The reason I like black and white photos is because they simplify the world around me. In doing so they create more depth, perspective and focus. I often use that practice in paintings by using a single color. I thought I’d share a few examples of that today with some of my painting practices, along with a few more black and white photos.
Simple 365 – Set 11
Here is another set of Simple365 photos. This is what my summer usually looks like, playing and experimenting indoors. After a jaunt through the garden, I putter in the kitchen making both food and art concoctions. Aside from making paint from foraged things, this was my first time making mint jam and mint wine.
Please Click on the image thumbnails to see the photos and read the captions.
I created a page with all the previously shared photos from Simple365. I continue to add photos to that page as I share them here. That way I can relive the journey through the year via black and white photos like in an old album.
Painting With Homemade Ink
We have a beautiful old towering black walnut tree. A couple of years ago, I happily collected a LOT of black walnuts. The huge mess I made was matched only by the amount the fun I had while making black walnut ink.
This was my first time painting with ink made from plant material. This bookmark picture is of that walnut tree, painted with the ink I made. The ink has a gorgeous golden hue to it and can also be used as a stain. I am going to convert some of that ink/stain to watercolor, but that’s a story for another day.
Exploring An Old Favourite
I probably don’t need to to tell you anymore how much I love trees. Whenever I am trying something new, I unintentionally start with a simple sketch of one or many trees, followed by marking the dark, medium and light areas. This value sketch is immensely helpful, especially when I am working with only one color.
It does look like a hot mess when I start. However, the composition takes shape over time as I continue to paint. “The rule” says to paint from light to dark. However, I sometimes paint the closest trees first. They are the darkest and have the most detail. Then I paint the further-out ones that are lighter in color with less detail. I do what works for the painting and me, which quite often does not follow convention.
Prussian Blue is one of my favourite colours. Depending on water usage, this granulating color deposits unevenly producing a mottled effect. There are places in this painting where I didn’t want that, so I had to pay extra attention. Exploring it without interference from another color gave me a chance to learn and understand this color to its fullest.
Trying A New Brand
Watercolors from different brands behave very differently. I was curious about Rembrandt watercolor. I love their less expensive Van Gogh line and use it often in my nature journals. When I want to try out a new expensive brand of watercolor, I only purchase one tube. While visiting an art supply store with my husband, I asked him to pick out a Rembrandt color for me. Here is a man who delights in creating little challenges for me. Knowing very well that I use red in my paintings only for accents, he chose that very color for a monochromatic painting.
Painting a red forest bookmark was daunting for me, but I accepted the challenge and loved it. Working with just one color, I was able to learn the behavior of the Rembrandt paint.
A few painting tools and a tube of paint, and I can stay busy for hours. I also keep a sketchbook with my line drawings, value sketches and additional notes.
Black and white photos create a simplified world with increased depth, perspective, and focus. Extending that monochromatic world of photography into the world of painting makes it easier for me to learn and play. Do you ever play with black and white / monochromatic colors or are you a full-time full-color person? I would love to know.
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Betty Crow June 6, 2023 at 07:25
You sure are talented. I like black and white photos too. They allow the eye to focus on the important part of the pic and removes background noise. Beautiful! Enjoy your day.
rainbow evening June 2, 2023 at 04:58
agree with you….
simple and amazing….
Angie June 1, 2023 at 20:46
Soma – thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!
I admire your willingness to experiment – that is a skill I am working on. But at this point, it has not extended to black and white anything. On our trip to the UK, I somehow took a black and white photo of the coast – and you are right, it brought out elements that I would not have noticed in color!
But generally, I am a color person!!!
Nature Notes June 1, 2023 at 12:17
You are very talented…. Michelle
Michelle nature notes May 31, 2023 at 12:04
Wow, just amazing
Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie May 31, 2023 at 09:37
Your art and photography are so beautiful and atmospheric – like a walk through a foggy woodland. Amazing that you made ink with the walnuts and then created a lovely image. So informative about testing out the individual colors, too. x K
Breathtaking May 31, 2023 at 03:06
Hello Soma :=)
I love the way you create your own ink and paint from foraged plants,and natures gifts. Your Monochromatic tree art is beautiful.. It’s fun playing around with one colour, and the depth you achieve is remarkable. Super black and white photos. I still have loads of them, when colour was not an option…
All the best
Kirstin May 29, 2023 at 17:53
There is definitely something special about black and white or like you shared, one or two colors. So pretty. I love the trees.
Kirstin May 29, 2023 at 17:52
There’s definitely something special about black and white or even like you said one or two colors. These are all great. I love the trees.
Peabea May 28, 2023 at 16:26
Love seeing some of your process. I like photographing trees, but your painting is so much better. As always, it’s beautiful.
Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs May 28, 2023 at 05:25
Wow, it really does give a different dimension and texture using one colour. I love the woodland in Prussian blue, it makes it look eerie and very atmospheric! Awesome work as always Soma. x
RachelSwirl May 27, 2023 at 11:16
Your work is simply stunning, thanks so much for linking up and sharing your snaps with #MySundaySnapshot.
Lydia C. Lee May 26, 2023 at 14:57
They’re lovely. I used to take a lot of B&W, even in the days of film, but I haven’t lately. Should get back into it….#WeekendCoffeeShare
Erin @ Cracker Crumb Life May 26, 2023 at 04:21
These are beautiful!! And I am impressed you made ink with black walnuts! I collected them once to make something with them and they are so tough (and messy) to work with!
Visiting from the Traffic Jam linky!
Kathrine Eldridge May 26, 2023 at 04:09
What a stunning work of art! I adore the shade of blue.
Sarah MumofThree World May 25, 2023 at 13:58
It was really interesting to read about the way you paint and how it doesn’t always follow the ‘rules’. Love that you managed to use the walnuts from the garden to create your own ink.
Sandee May 24, 2023 at 09:04
I love the black and white shots. Wow.
Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.
Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday and rest of the week. ♥
Anne Sweet May 24, 2023 at 05:10
The black and white photos are lovely, everything looks so different. I’m actually old enough to remember when photos were nearly always black and white. I love your monochrome paintings, I think Prussian blue is a favourite colour of mine too.
Lillian May 24, 2023 at 04:56
Lovely black and white
Life Images by Jill May 22, 2023 at 21:19
mono photography and paintins for that matter, really do make you look when they colour is not there to attrack you. Think the old black and white photographers of the past. I wish I could get black walnuts. I do a bit of eco printing using leaves etc. Have you tried cyanotype – such fun – I have been experimenting with it. Enjoy your week. I enjoyed meeting you today over on Peabea’s linkup.
Debbie May 22, 2023 at 12:12
your art is so pretty…i enjoyed reading about the process. black and white images always intrigue me. i ordered watercolor paints and have yet to open them. you have inspired me to get going!!
Ornery Owl May 22, 2023 at 11:21
Lovely work! I took a watercolor class but I’m not very good.
Sallie (FullTime-Life) May 22, 2023 at 10:30
There was so much of interest in this in this lovely post, even to a non-artist. (Someone has to be here just to admire and appreciate artists and their talent.) I like the red bookmark and that you made the ink drawing because your husband likes them — really what I’m saying is that I love how he is interested in what you do and how well you work together! I too love trees and your monochrome blue surely shows the graceful lines of yours. Each time I see and admire your picture-a-days I think what a great idea that is and why don’t I think to do that. (Mine would be in color and not nearly so artistic of course.) It’s really a lovely way to remind oneself to appreciate and be grateful for each day!
Ruth@playworkeatrepeat May 22, 2023 at 02:19
Hi Soma, nice to see you back again. I love monochromatic colours and your trees are so beautiful. That is exactly the type of art that I would love to have in my home.
Monica Johansson May 22, 2023 at 01:23
wow,Soma, I love the way you paint trees and forests. So beautiful!
Louise (Fundy Blue) May 21, 2023 at 13:20
Hi, Soma! I found via Rain’s post. Your art is beautiful, and I enjoyed how and why you work with monochromatic colors. My art is primarily photography. Because of vision issues, I usually work with my point-and-shoot Canon or my iPhone. I love color, so most of my photos are in colors. It’s really interesting that you are experimenting with making your own colored inks. Have a happy and creative week!
Kim Carberry May 21, 2023 at 09:09
Those photos are fantastic and they really work well in black and white. The walnut ink sounds interesting and it really has a great effect.
A ShutterBug Explores May 20, 2023 at 11:37
Your trees are so divinely created ~ Wow!
Wishing you good health, laughter, and love,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
Andrea Jacqueline Priebe May 20, 2023 at 11:24
I love the monochromatic art and especially the blue. You do a beautiful job of creating depth with the different shades. I suddenly became curious as to how an expert such as yourself would distinguish ink from paint. I know what it says in the books … but, what are your thoughts? Lovely post, Soma …
Andrea @ from the Sol
Alison Hall May 20, 2023 at 11:04
Your tree art is beautiful Soma, and another wonderful collection of photos.
I hope you are having a lovely weekend.
John's Island May 20, 2023 at 09:21
You had me at the title … Monochromatic! Always a fascination for me in photography … using black and white to create a new reality. I mean, seriously, here is a case where color and black & white can be the “same but different.” :-) Someone out there will probably question, “Is black and white considered monochromatic?” The Google answer is, “Black and white photography is the most prominent example of monochrome photography, as it represents subjects in varying shades of neutral gray, but includes no other colors. In monochrome photography, tones of a single color are used to represent all the different colors within an image.” And another question, “What is considered monochromatic?” Answer, “Monochrome colors are all the varieties of a single hue – the tints, shades, and tones. A monochromatic color scheme will range between lighter and darker versions of the base color or hue.”
I love your first image … I think we both love the beauty nature shares with us in her trees. I enjoyed another set of Simple365. What an excellent project it was to take photos daily and select one to represent the day. Soma, I don’t know if you are retired. Since I’m definitely into retirement, I’m always looking for tips on improving the experience. In several places, I’ve read the advice, adding hobbies you enjoy is a great way to add happiness to your days. So, whether you are retired or not, seeing how you weave your hobbies into your days is a delight.
I got a kick out of your hubby challenging you with Rembrandt Red. :-) Your hubby thinks like I do. I’ll bet he loves the red forest bookmark! Thanks for another delightful post on InkTorrents! Have a fine weekend and take good care. Best regards to you from Seattle!
Amy Johnson May 20, 2023 at 04:54
Beautiful photography as always. I love black and white photos. And how cool to paint with homemade ink. I love the trees!
Linda at Texas Quilt Gal May 20, 2023 at 04:48
I’m so glad you found a use for those black walnuts! it is not one of my favorite nuts – lol! The color is beautiful. I wish you had been my teacher when I tried to learn to paint in the 1990s. I won’t say I failed, I just didn’t get the distance/perspective thing. But it was fun to play with colors. You are so smart and intuitive in your painting, plus you exude joy in it!
Erika N May 20, 2023 at 03:12
I just learned about painting tree branches from your post. It’s not something I’ve ever tried, but I just love the walnut ink and the blue painted ones. They came out beautifully. Thank you for the inspiration. And your black and white photos are very eye-catching. I love close ups and simple photos too. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. hugs-Erika
Veronica Lee May 19, 2023 at 17:11
Love the beautiful trees.
Your art is fantastic, Soma.
Hugs and blessings
Gillena Cox May 19, 2023 at 15:17
Some love monochrome Soma. Thanks for linking to AFFF
Connie Griffin May 19, 2023 at 07:00
I love working with monochromatic colors, I love the depth you got with your trees that way. My hubby does photography too and love to go black and white quite a bit with his pictures. You knit sweaters too, the most I have done is pot holders and scarves, haven’t tried clothes.
Susan May 19, 2023 at 06:33
I love your creativity and work. The blue trees are my favorite. I also have an affinity for Celtic designs.
Carol May 19, 2023 at 04:33
Love your art with the blue sky
tomthebackroadstraveller May 19, 2023 at 03:19
…I LOVE your trees, I was owned a nursery for 50 years. And I still LOVE trees!. Enjoy your weekend.
Mary May 18, 2023 at 18:03
I always enjoy reading your techniques. I will often photograph fabrics in black and white to see my values. The walnut ink/stain is so pretty. Do you ever cook with them? My grandmother used to make wickedly good black walnut refrigerator cookies.
Carola Bartz May 18, 2023 at 17:18
Your art is beautiful, Soma, and I love your “simple” black and white photography.
I have sometimes worked monotchromatic n my art journal, and it was challenging, interesting and fascinating. Usually I’m more the “color person”, but in photography I also love black and white. I don’t think I myself am very good at it, but I enjoy looking at b&w images.
Joanne May 18, 2023 at 16:44
I am so inspired now; I rarely think to take black and white photos but I do love how they look. Your beautiful blue trees turned out so well too and I just love blue tones.
Yvonne May 18, 2023 at 13:48
I love black and white photos, but as far as creating art, I have difficulty staying focused and not losing interest. There was a time when I would try anything and everything, but not much works for me these days except playing with the photos I take, and writing of my experiences.. You create much beauty in your unconventional way, and I admire that.
Kathy May 18, 2023 at 12:23
I really enjoyed your post very much
Nicole/DVArtist May 18, 2023 at 12:17
Wow your art is so beautiful. I love your photos too. You are so talented. Have a lovely day.
Karen May 18, 2023 at 05:13
love all your work and it is nice to see your work again
Christine May 18, 2023 at 05:07
Eileen May 18, 2023 at 04:52
Your images are always lovely, beautiful work. The trees are a favorite. Take care, enjoy your day!
Luisella May 18, 2023 at 00:10
Good to see creativity at work. All the best!