The Monochromatic Look


SOLSC Day 10

A few years ago, maybe a little longer,OK so maybe it was the last century, Bobby Vinton had a hit record called Blue on Blue.  So I’m showing my age.


Anyway this got me thinking about color and specifically monochromatic color schemes.

Were there a lot of tone on tone examples?  Well, the first thing that came to my mind was fabric.  Many times Kathy is on the lookout for fabric that reads as a solid from a distance but actually has a design printed on it.  Here is an example of a green on green fabric.


One of the most useful monochromatic color schemes in quilting is a white on white.  This comes in handy as background fabric.



I began to then think about other places where a single color might be used.  It came to me.  Anyone remember years ago when Regis Philbin sported the matching shirt and tie look? Here’s an example in case you don’t know what I mean.


I think I tried this look once or twice but then decided it wasn’t for me.

Where else can we find an example of monochromatic design.  How about art work.  Surely in the art world there will be some examples.

Here is a painting by Nikki Marie Smith called Adrift in a Sea of Blue Abstract.


Maybe not a true monochromatic example, but Guernica by Picasso would be right up there.


I am sure that there are other examples of a monochromatic look but I will close here with my favorite example.  It is a study of gray on gray.  Here are two views of the same piece.





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20 responses to “The Monochromatic Look

  1. Love that gray on gray look! It works for that kitty. I do remember the Regis look, I think they still do this.

  2. lvahey

    I’m someone who would likely say “I’m not artsy or artistic” but I enjoyed your thoughts on monochromatic “looks” and especially appreciated your examples (just enough dash of humor to keep them from being too, well, monochromatic!).

  3. Terje

    I love the monochromatic cat photos. Funny. The blue painting is beautiful.

  4. The kitty wins the look, hands down.

  5. I enjoy your photo essays.
    I remember art classes in high school where we had to create monochromatic compositions. We did a lot of experimentation with the concept in architecture school as well. I appreciate the variety of images you include – fabrics to dress to Guernica (what a powerful painting) to your beloved cat.

  6. You have taken the monochromatic look to a new level. Kitty is definitely the best!

  7. I love this post. Many years ago I read about an all white pieced quilt. It was gorgeous, and made with lots of different white fabrics. I wish I could find the picture tonight.

  8. What a fun exploration of a concept, with your humor inserted in both words and images!

  9. “I think I tried this look once or twice but then decided it wasn’t for me.” I can say this about a few things.

  10. Uh-huh, I see what you did there. All that monochromatic ho-ha just so you can show off those adore cat pics! Seriously, it was a charming fun post that left me ginning. Still, I’m on to you, arjeha!

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