Do you know what monochromaticism is? If not, it’s simply painting with only one color.

With watercolors, it’s a great technique for really getting good with your colors. You can get a lot of shades of a color simply by using more or less water.

In fact, I don’t even have a true pink. I simply use red and water it down to get pink.

Dualchromaticism is simply painting with only two colors.

Two things about monochromatic painting – 1. knowing how to paint with only one color will improve your technique drastically. 2. When using monochromaticism for one part of the painting, the part of the painting that’s not monochromatic will “pop.”

That’s especially good for pinup art. Most of the surface of these paintings are only two colors – Daniel Smith’s Moonglow and Winsor and Newton’s Payne’s Grey. So I’m using dualchromaticism rather than monochromaticism, which is really not much of a difference.

They’re similar colors so they almost look like they’re the same color. Moonglow has both red and blue in it so it’s almost a purplish whereas Payne’s Grey is a dark blue-gray. Both colors are very cool in that warm/cool color spectrum.

Plus, my mood was very grey when I painted these paintings. I feel it was fitting at the time.

Dualchromaticism makes the girls pop, and the girls lately were the light of my life during the lockdowns.

I’m a very social person. I like being around people. The lockdowns got to me pretty hard.

The lockdowns made people scared of each other. Rather than seeing a fellow human being, folks saw each other as possible disease vectors. We’ll be seeing the psychological side effects of the lockdowns for decades.

Make the subjects “pop”

You see what I mean though about the girl really “popping?” Sophia stands out, almost like she’s popping out of the picture.

Most of the rest of the painting is only Moonglow and Payne’s Grey. I used some white gouache for the stars and the moon.

Sophia as Selene
Sophia as Selene

Take another good look at the painting above of Sophia. Unfortunately, you’re seeing an image of the painting. I really wish you could see this painting in real life.

We’re doing a warm/cool trick here. For the dualchromaticism, I’m using cool colors. For the actual subject, which in my case is my pinup model, I’m using warm colors.

Allie in Selene Gazes Upon Endymion
Allie in Selene Gazes Upon Endymion

Allie really bursts forward in this one. Here’s monochromaticism, but the black really looks darker in real life than it does in this image of the painting.

Roxy and Allie near some castle ruins
Melisa and Allie near some Castle Ruins

Here Melisa and Allie really pop forward. I intended some serious symbolism in this painting but I won’t disclose what I intended. If someone gets it, they get it. If they get it wrong, I won’t correct them and let them think that’s what I intended.

I’m not that kind of artist. If you see something that I didn’t intend for, it appealed to you in a way I didn’t understand. More power to you! Actually, it’s flattering that you saw something additional to what I intended. Seriously.

What means something to me may or may not mean the same thing to you. That’s totally cool. You and I are different people and I don’t expect us to think the same way.

On another note, I try to capture some of my model’s sexuality in the paintings. If they’re not looking sexy, I haven’t done my job very well.

That’s a huge part of pinup art. I love painting beauty for beauty’s sake. But pinup art should also capture some of the real life sexiness of your models.

Roxy by Greek Ruins
Melisa as a Lake Naiad by Greek Ruins

This one of Melisa in a Naiad in the Greek Ruins was the first in the series of these paintings, before I started adding dragons in most of them. Ironically, I have a seagull in there. Still a flying animal, only on a much smaller scale.

You see in all these images though one consistency – the girls really pop forward. They’re the life of the painting and the background is just the background. I really like to exaggerate that fact with my style of pinup art.

I’m all about the girl. I know Allie and Melisa extremely well and I’m getting to know Sophia a lot better. All three of them are super cool women.

I hope I’m successfully capturing a bit of their personalities as well in the painting. Yes, I use live models. I think that’s the only way to do it if you’re painting my style of pinup art.

Categories: Art technique


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