Blue Forest Watercolor Painting by Soma @


Prussian Blue Forest Watercolor Painting by Soma @


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.



Monochromatic Paintings



Painting With Homemade Ink


Homemade Black Walnut Ink by Soma @


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.



Homemade Black Walnut Ink by Soma @


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



Prussian Blue Forest Watercolor Painting by Soma @


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.



Prussian Blue Forest Watercolor Painting by Soma @


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 Forest Watercolor Painting by Soma @


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


Rembrandt Watercolor - Red Forest Watercolor Bookmark by Soma @


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.



I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please consider paying a visit to some of them.



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The Girl And Her Cat are at Yorkshire Cove Malham Cove loving the blustery early evening painting @ by Soma

Wild Child

The Girl And Her Cat - Lost Pages watercolour paintings by InkTorrents Graphics Soma Acharya


“Hey child, stay wilder than the wind” is a line from one of my favourite songs by Duran Duran. This painting from my Lost Pages sketchbook always makes me think of that.   I don’t consider myself a wild child, but I do love to be outside travelling and walking everywhere with my camera.  When I am at home,  early mornings, I work in the garden quite regularly while listening to the trees talking to each other.   I often also bring little treasures back inside.  That’s how I got started with botanical ink making.



Botanical Ink Making Soma Acharya



When I was sharing my Simple365 daily photos previously, you asked me about the process.  




Painting and Botanical Ink Making Soma Acharya



You can make inks using many of the things you can find in your garden or kitchen, rose petals and onion skins being a couple of common examples.  Please remember that many plants range anywhere from mildly to extremely poisonous.   So please be careful, specially if you are working with children or/and around pets.

Also, some of the inks might cause permanent staining.  Please make sure to take adequate precaution.



Botanical Ink Making Soma Acharya

Now on to the fun part – ink making.  It is super easy.  I highlighted the materials you will need below in the instructions.

Add your foraged items to a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1 tsp of vinegar in an old saucepan and add heat.  Once it comes to boil, turn the stove down to barely a simmer.  Too much heat will turn everything brown.  

Check the colour every now and then by dipping a strip of scrap paper in the liquid.  As you can see in the second photo, the color changes over time.  Once you have the desired colour, use a strainer to collect only the liquid in a heat resistant bottle like an old jam bottle.

You can stop here.  For a cleaner ink, you can further filter the ink using a coffee filter set in a funnel.

Lastly, you can put a clove or two in the bottle to preserve the ink.   That’s it!




Painting and Botanical Ink Making Soma Acharya



These inks are ephemeral.  If you want to preserve the artwork you create, I suggest you either scan or take a photo of it as soon as possible.

It will be so exciting to see what colour you would extract from the things you find around your home!  I think with proper supervision this would make a fabulous activity to do with children.   



I will wrap up the post with a few more paintings from the Lost Pages sketchbook.  These are all my favourites.  


Please Click on the image thumbnails to see the photos. 

I would love to know which one is your favourite from these four.



I also hope you would give botanical ink making a try.

Until next time,


I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.




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