Sunday, July 31, 2011

Grisaille painting

8 x 10  oils

Grisaille painting isn't seen often these days.  It was a classic technique favoured by the masters and students to produce a monochrome version of a painting before colour was added through glazing.  It was very similar to a drawing, or a sculpture, but done in paints.

With the advent of 'alla prima' painting, grisaille has dropped from favour.  Adding another step to a painting seems wasteful of time if you're creating a painting all in one sitting.

I have to admit that I haven't used grisaille for a very long time either and my prompt to try it again is this portrait.  It is being done from a greyscale image, as there was no other available from the individual.  So the time seemed right to work up a grisaille image then see if I wanted to move it further with colour glazing, or simply leave it as a monochrome piece.

This is about the half way mark.  I've got the shapes and values it, now to deepen the values and tweak the shapes.  I'm using oils here, burnt umber and titanium white and need to let the layers dry a little before refining it more.


Christiane Kingsley said...

Jeanette, this looks really good. The features are so well looks almost like a photograph. Excellent work!

Billie Crain said...

This is extremely well painted. So realistic. When I saw the thumbnail on my blog list I thought you were painting yourself in curlers but seeing it here it's obviously not you.

Robyn Sinclair said...

Excellent start, Janette. It's already a very appealing portrait.

Jeanette said...

Thanks Christiane, I've still got work to do on smoothing out features and finishing the hair, but its heading in the right direction.

Billie, thanks. Its been ages since I did a grisaille painting and like the monotone look of it.

Hopefully it will be more so when complete Robyn. Thanks for your comments.

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

I love grisaille painting. I've only done a few and had wonderful success with those. I love what you have going on here. Makes me want to go do the same.

Please share the finished product when its done .

RH Carpenter said...

I love this face - her quirky little smile, the light in her eyes, those rollers in her hair! You're doing a great job on this - will enjoy seeing color come in later :)

Shelley Whiting said...

I really love the expression. It's very unusual and has a lot of character.