Are you obsessed with a single colour or tone? Want to create art with only shades or tones of your favourite colour? Today we will be doing an easy monochromatic art of one of our favourite hang out spots so read on to find out more.
What is Monochromatic Art
The word ‘mono’ means single while ‘chrome’ derives from the Greek word “chroma’ which means ‘colour’. Putting two and two together, Monochromatic art is an art style that is made from a single colour. (usually with different hues or tones)
There is a general misconception that monochrome means black and white, but this is not true. Monochrome is not exclusively black and white but rather in varying tones made from a single colour. The colours black and white are just more commercially used examples of monochromatic art.
Examples of Monochromatic Art
Monochromatic art can be found in our daily lives, ranging from clothing in fashion brands to stationeries and interiors. Apparels tend to use the black and white style and label it as ‘monochrome’ while in the case of stationeries, some brands that carry monochrome style include ‘Pantone’ and ‘Leuchtturm 1917’ which produces notebooks and planners specially made for bullet journaling.
How to Create Monochromatic Art
Today, Artist Celine Chia will be creating a digital interior of Cafe Monochrome Singapore, a popular 2D cafe in Singapore.
- Tablet (with Procreate app)
- Digital Pencil
Procreate Brush Setting:
- Brush type: technical pen
- Brush size: 1%-10% for finer lines, 20%-30% for coarser lines. (You can add more/less pressure when doing the line art to achieve the desired thickness.)
- Opacity: Max
For this entire sketch, we are only going to use a single layer with only one type of brush. However, feel free to separate the layers for the various objects that we will be sketching (i.e arm chair, windows, tables and chairs etc) if you are more comfortable with sketching the objects separately.
Adding the various layers allows us to shift the objects/ adjust the proportions.
When given a room (filled with objects/items) to draw, it is common to feel overwhelmed and unable to decide where to start first. In these kinds of situations, it is advisable to break things down and also start with the main contour lines (the big picture/coarser lines) before adding the nitty gritty details (fine lines).
There is no right or wrong on where to start drawing first. For the example given, Artist Celine Chia chose to start off with the big canvas at the background and the corner edge/line of the room. The rationale for this is to give a clear separation between the left and the right side of the wall, and also to ensure that the proportions of the room (and subsequently the objects in the room) are as accurate as possible.
In theory, this monochrome digital art piece is also a two point perspective drawing (with vanishing points at the far left and right end outside of the canvas). In simpler terms, we will have to angle our line art accordingly to give the cafe/room a 3D effect. For the objects within the room, we want to give them a 2D effect (instead of 3D). Thus, we avoid any shading for the objects, since shading will give the object its 3D form.
As we are doing our line drawing with procreate on our tablets, creating clean, straight lines are relatively easier than drawing them with our free hand. To create a straight line using Procreate, simply draw and hold your pencil/stylus (do not remove it from the surface), and the software will automatically create a straight (and adjustable) line for you.
This also applies for creating clean and smooth arcs/circles.
Another thing to note is the relation between the pressure applied and the thickness of the lines. The more pressure applied on the Ipad/tablet, the coarser the lines created, and vice versa.
After drawing part of the background, we proceed to sketch out the rough outline of the armchair on the wall. Here we notice that part of the armchair will be covered/overlapped by the table and chair.
Thus, we can proceed to sketch them (tables and chairs) next. To give the room its depth, ensure that the two chairs that are back-facing are larger in size (with coarser lines as well) as compared to the other two with the back of the chair facing the wall.
Next, we fill up the area beside the armchair with the phonograph sketch. Note that part of the phonograph is cropped since the canvas is not big enough to fit the entire phonograph in. Thereafter we proceed to add the other details on the wall such as the wall skirtings. Make sure that the main contour lines/ outer lines are generally coarser than the detail lines.
For the French-style window, we first draw a trapezium (a very slight one, with top and bottom non-parallel lines), before adding the detail lines. To get more accurate proportions for the window, we split the window in halves before adding in the details (window grills). Moving on to the details of the arm chair, we first add the dots (staggered) on its backrest. Then we follow up with joining the dots diagonally with arcs/lines to give the chair its “cushion” effect.
Last but not least, we end off with where we started — the background. Add the details on the canvas frame and fill up the canvas with the strokes. You may choose to modify and add in your own personal touches! In our case, we changed the canvas to take after ‘Starry Night’, one of Artist Van Gogh’s famous works.
Here’s the completed portrait of Cafe Monochrome Singapore. Feel free to do your own variation of monochromatic art and tag us on our socials!