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Monochromatic art

Monochromatic art is a style of art that uses a single colour or a limited range of colours to create a sense of unity and harmony within a piece. This can be achieved by using different shades, tints, and tones of a single colour or by using a limited range of colours that are closely related on the colour wheel.


Monochromatic Art | Moiré 1 by Anish Kapoor
Moiré 1, 2015, Anish Kapoor


Monochromatic art can be created in a variety of mediums, including painting, drawing, and printmaking. In painting, monochromatic art is often created by layering different shades and tones of a single colour to create depth and dimension. In drawing, monochromatic art can be created by using a single colour of pencil or pen to create a sense of simplicity and focus.


Monochromatic Art | Life (Vida) by Miguel A. Aragón
Life (Vida), 2022, Miguel A. Aragón

The use of monochromatic colour schemes can create a sense of atmosphere, mood and emotion to the work, as well as emphasising the formal elements of the composition such as shape, line, and texture.

The use of monochrome can also be used to create a sense of timelessness, as it does not rely on the use of current or fashionable colour palettes. It also allows for the possibility of creating a sense of ambiguity and complexity in the work, as the viewer is forced to focus on the other elements of the composition.


Green Curve by Ellsworth Kelly
Green Curve, 1988, Ellsworth Kelly


Some of the most notable artists who have used monochromatic colour schemes in their work include Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, and Kazimir Malevich. Kelly was known for his use of simple geometric shapes and clean lines in his monochromatic paintings, while Martin’s work often featured subtle variations of a single colour to create a sense of serenity and harmony. Malevich, on the other hand, used monochrome to create a sense of abstraction and transcendence in his works.