Camaïeu Bleu

The first time I became aware of the  painting style called  camaïeu bleu was when I found a painting in  the Marché aux Puces in Paris.  I fell in love with the process of treating a color in a monochromatic way. I still have that Paris painting and years later  I found a  painting by French artist Jean-Baptiste Pillement, a painter famous for painting in this process. . . I became inspired by the painting. When I started painting I was painting in multicolors and loved it, but recently  I wanted to see how paintings would look transposed into camaïeu blu I have attempted to play around with this style .  Shown in images below. are some of my efforts. The reason I like this style is that it corrosponds to my  passion I shared with you in A Passion for Blue and White.  This type of painting goes with so many other colors and fits in any style  of decoration.



Pillement, Jean Baptiste (1728-1808)
oil on canvas.  This is close up of my painting all in shades and tints of blue. Below are three of my first attempts in the technique.  This inspired me.
I have just made them into note cards, and prints available on my website


A mood board (above) for my Blue & White book from all the things I loved in blue and white. The icebergs are totally in Camaïeu Bleu. The palette above is the type of spectrum reflective of camaïeu bleu, narrow, but different hues, shades and tints.In this painting above, by Henri Matisse,the  artist used greener shades of blue plus he also added color in the terra cotta pots and fruit. That’s the first time I noticed you can add different colors into this style so there  2 ways of practicing Camaïeu Bleu: using all blue fundamentals, or all blue with accent colors.


Besides doing the paintings in Camaïeu Bleu style – I am  also working on an embroidery project (examples above) That are also use the idea of multiple blues. ( This is another story -more on that later)

This is  Blue Butterfly

 Camaïeu Bleu, with the red accent on the face was used in the bird painting  pictured above. 

These are the new notecards of the paintings( above)

As you can see, my notecards double nicely as gift tags. By the way  for those of you on  Instagram, I wanted to thank you for all of the great ideas you gave me on the red tulip! You really inspired me. I am taking the red tulip into fabric and wrapping paper. But more about that later!

Happy summer from Colorado!  —  also I am sure there are many typos in this post so sorry in advance!!!!!


38 thoughts on “Camaïeu Bleu

  1. Carolyne,
    You did a superb job on the pineapple top architectural element. Is it in your collection or garden, or did you see it traveling ? Best wishes with your lovely cards.- Virginia Billeaud Anderson

  2. Hi, I’m a big fan!. I want to ask you what kind of medium you use on this paintings? are they oils or watercolors. Love so much, everything you do. I paint a little, and I like to paint Botanical mostly. Thank you in advance.
    M. Bastone.

    • Thank you, Maria! These paintings are done in watercolor. Botanical is a very fun and vibrant subject – cheers! Warmly, Carolyne.

    • Hi, Rosemary. I have some items for sale on my website – but plan to have lifestyle products posted this coming week. I look forward to sharing with you all! Be well, CR.

  3. Gorgeous. I love the look of this particular blue. It has a serenity that is so much more interesting.

    • Thank you, Nikki – I agree (of course :)). I find blue calming as well, as you can imagine. Best wishes, CR.

  4. Lovely and inspiring! I enjoyed reading this over breakfast this morning. Thank you for sharing the beauty of the creative spirit!
    Warm regards-
    Wendy Fink
    St Louis

    • I appreciate you taking the time to enjoy my posts, Wendy! I hope all is well for you out in St. Louis – CR.

  5. All great ideas, and the execution (as usual) is superb. Doesn’t it feed your soul to create? I love that feeling, of making something beautiful, and beautifying the lives of others. It’s a win/win. Thanks for sharing, and creating!

    • Oh Cynthia I always think I am not good enough so I am not sure it feeds my soul but I do enjoy the work–I am going to Italy at the end of the month to take a class in acrylic painting a new venture for me!

  6. Dearest Carolyne,
    any and all typos are already exonerated as long as we receive your inspiring (and educational) posts. Thank you for always bringing beauty and art into our lives.

    Mari Mayoral

    • Hi, Marìa! Thank you for the support – happy to share and hear your feedback! Warm regards, CR.

  7. I would hate you if I didn’t admire you so much!So gracious and so talented. I think it is time for you to spin straw into gold. If anyone can do it ,you can!

  8. Carolyne;
    I love all things blue and white and this, as everything else you do and share, is just as beautiful! Thank you for your inspiration and for sharing your love of beauty.

  9. Incredibly beautiful…. just magnificient… I have been a fan of yours for many, many years now. I have all your books as well. There’s simply no one like you… your style, your taste, the way you put things together is just really unique and special…. have you thought about opening a store(s) in a few key places that can showcase your style/taste for the home — something like “all beautiful things”? I would RUN to a store of yours!!

    I live in the Seattle area on the Eastside — Bellevue. I would LOVE to have a store of yours here — and, to be able to hire you as a designer for the home, and event planner…..

    • Such kind words from you Sheryl. I have aways thought it would be fun( and a lot of hard work and expense) to share the things I love. I tried many years in the early years of online commerce but either I was too early or perhaps it was not interesting to people I finally gave up on the idea. I had lots of beautiful things for the home.entertaining and gifts and I thought it was beautiful some day I may post some pictures if they still exist.

  10. Omg- you can do no wrong! I love this just as much as your multi color paintings! What a talent! Thanks forr sharing all you do.

  11. I do so love the bleu it works very well with your beautiful water colors. As I type this I am looking at the collage of your water colors that I pulled from the pages of an additional book I bought from amazon. The colors and your talent ceases to amaze me. The wall of your paintings in my office has now become a shrine to your talents. Best wishes, keep the wonderful blogs coming.

  12. Dear Carolyne,

    How absolutely beautiful!!!!! Love your monochromatic drawings. I love this style of painting so popular in the 18th century. I saw an old movie a long time ago called Uncle Silas with Jean Simmons. I don’t know if it was my television or not but the whole movie seemed to shot, not in black and white, but in the beautiful shades of blue in your drawings. It made an already spooky film even more so and I have never forgotten it. Thank you again for making my day with a trip to 18th century through your evocative creations. You never fail to surprise and delight!!!!.

    Love, Kevin and the spirit of my little Nickie

    • I must see that movie–I have never heard of it. Thanks for the info! I also adore the 18th century cr

  13. Enjoyed your beautiful pieces shown here. have a love for blue and white and enjoying seeing others share the same.Hope to see many more.

  14. Dear Carolyne,

    The blue is so lovely.

    Can we have a post from Colorado?
    I do love your table settings. Hint hint!

    Marie 🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋

  15. Carolyne
    I love your style. Especially the Camaïeu Bleu prints. Have you ever thought of doing “corn flowers” in Camaïeu Bleu. I’m an old admirer of your work from my NYC days.

    • That is a lovely idea, Todd. Thank you kindly for your longstanding support of my work! Warm wishes, Carolyne.

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