Learn this Basic black & White Technique to Improve Your Paintings!

Hi friends! Many times when a painting seem “off” it is because there is a problem with value. Value refers to how dark or light the elements in your painting are. If you do not have your values correct and the right amount of contrast your paintings will not be as strong as they could be. The best way to learn values is to remove the color and work in black and white. Today I am going to show you how to do a basic ink-wash technique using black India ink and water.


Watch this video to see how I did this.


The supplies in this kit were from Smart Art, a monthly subscription box filled with gobs of art supplies, everything you need to get going in certain medium. Each box is a surprise and each month they treat you to full size, name brand products. The price is $49.95 a month (cheaper per month if you do 3 months) but for each kit I have seen there well over $50 value in each box and shipping is included in the price. Sorry, Smart Art only ships to the USA. I want to thank Smart Art for sponsoring this post, I think it would be fun to do a monthly Smart Art painting party with the contents of the box, what do you think?  I have been sent other monthly art kit club boxes to review and declined them because I did not feel that they provided a real value in product or education to my viewers. That said, feel free to recreate today’s project with the supplies you already have at home!


One of the great things of living in the modern world is computers, if you want to try more ink wash paintings try printing a picture you like off the computer in greyscale, you will have the values worked out for you that way, compare it to the color version and you will begin to see the subtle changes in value. It will really help you grow as an artist. Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

5 Responses

  1. You are so right, Lindsay. Learning the basics makes it ever so much easier to screw up the courage to venture into more detailed art. Thank you for this.


  2. Just recently discovered your fabulous site and I’m working my way through your posts and videos. Having a fabulous time.

    Is there any way to find out ahead of time what the box contains or at least what type of materials it contains? It sounds like a fun idea, but I’d hate to spend $50 and get something I already owned or had no use for.


    • unfortuntaly no, they would not even let me know what they were sending me LOL! you have to take a chance on this one.


  3. great i know about ‘harmony’ in a painting because of your tutorials I will watch this today
    thanks Lindsay!
    -Grace Shack 🙂


  4. Oh that’s too bad they only ship to the US. I love getting blind package,their so much fun to open and play with.


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