The Wonderful Tone

Is it Important?

Like music, there is a note with low sound and there is other with high sound. Without tone watercolour painting, the painting looks dull and boring.

Tone is different with colour. We can create tone without colour. A monochrome can create tone (pencil, graphite, etc)

With only one colour we can create tone, from strong to soft, the density of monochrome.

tone in watercolour painting

With a specific colour among others colour we can create tone. A little warm colour among majority cool colour or vice versa.

In the drawing we can make an object looks like solid by giving shade, from light shade until the darkest one. This is how we create tone in an object.

So, back to tone watercolour painting, we make the tone by how many drop of water we mix in the paint. Lighter tone has more water drops mixing in the paint than the darker one.

In oil or acrylic painting, we make tone with adding white gradually.

Now, we are thinking about the whole tone in a painting

We have to examine which part has light, even lighter area, which part is darker area, even the darkest area. If the background is dark mostly, it is better to give light/lighter area near the focal point. And vice versa, with the mostly light/bright background, it is better to give dark detail to the focal point. And we have to consider about the aerial perpective in making the tone.

About colour and tone

It is better to know about colour wheel, or the rainbow colour.

tone in watercolour painting

I am sure we all know the primary colour : Red, Blue, Yellow

And the secondary colour (mixing of two primary colour) : (Purple/Violet, Green, Orange)

And about Cool colour : Blue , Violet, Green, Torquise, more or less.

Warm colour : Red, Yellow, Orange, Yellow-Green, more or less.

  • A cool colour shows best next to warm colour and vice versa.
  • In one painting do not put equal amounts of opposite colour ( in colour wheel). For example : if the main colour in a painting is Green, put a small amount of Red, is better.

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