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Old 12-04-2017, 10:09 AM
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Different approaches to glazing grisaille

I've done one painting so far where I glazed over a grisaille, and I'm pleased with the depth of color, so I'm making an effort to practice this technique more. However, I'm not entirely sure what's the "right" or most common way people do it because I've seen both of these. So do you...

A. Apply a single-color, flat tone with each layer, then go back over with more opaque highlights. (I feel like this is shown in tutorials on still life examples frequently, I suppose because this works well with objects of a single color?)

or

B. "Re-iterate" tones within each layer (emphasize shadows and highlights using different tones or colors while in the same layer).

Curious and wondering the pros/cons of each approach. Thanks y'all!
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Old 12-04-2017, 03:20 PM
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Re: Different approaches to glazing grisaille

Quote:
Originally Posted by phalaris
I've done one painting so far where I glazed over a grisaille, and I'm pleased with the depth of color, so I'm making an effort to practice this technique more. However, I'm not entirely sure what's the "right" or most common way people do it because I've seen both of these. So do you...

A. Apply a single-color, flat tone with each layer, then go back over with more opaque highlights. (I feel like this is shown in tutorials on still life examples frequently, I suppose because this works well with objects of a single color?)

or

B. "Re-iterate" tones within each layer (emphasize shadows and highlights using different tones or colors while in the same layer).

Curious and wondering the pros/cons of each approach. Thanks y'all!

Not sure I understand your question entirely, but given those two choices, I believe I'd select "B", as the way I most often glaze.

I use my grisaille as a "value map", for the colors that are to be applied. When I paint my color, I follow that value map for the lights, and darks, and I apply them wherever they seem to belong, based upon the values in my grisaille underpainting. By the time I complete my painting, my grisaille is usually totally covered up, but by then, it has already served its purpose--as a value map, to guide me in placing my lights, and darks of color.

I generally work on small areas at a time.
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Old 12-04-2017, 03:53 PM
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Re: Different approaches to glazing grisaille

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Originally Posted by WFMartin
Not sure I understand your question entirely, but given those two choices, I believe I'd select "B", as the way I most often glaze.

I use my grisaille as a "value map", for the colors that are to be applied. When I paint my color, I follow that value map for the lights, and darks, and I apply them wherever they seem to belong, based upon the values in my grisaille underpainting. By the time I complete my painting, my grisaille is usually totally covered up, but by then, it has already served its purpose--as a value map, to guide me in placing my lights, and darks of color.

I generally work on small areas at a time.

Yeah, "value map" is a good way to put it. I've seen a few tutorials that involve basically a flat wash of color in each layer, relying solely on the grisaille showing under the transparency of that wash to create value (option A). Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:13 PM
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Re: Different approaches to glazing grisaille

Quote:
Originally Posted by phalaris
I've seen a few tutorials that involve basically a flat wash of color in each layer, relying solely on the grisaille showing under the transparency of that wash to create value (option A). Thanks!

A flat wash of color over a finished grisaille is all fine and dandy, up to a point, and provided that that particular wash of color + your grisaille = exactly the result you want. How often does that happen?

In my earlier paintings, I would do, like Bill, a finished grisaille. Then as you described I would put a flat wash of color over a certain area. But there's always, always corrections to be made, darker more colorful shadow here, etc.

And then you have to consider the lighter sections of that area you've painted. People sometimes don't realize glazing transparent color over grisaille will always make it darker. After all your glazing (or during it, I often went back and forth) you have to paint lighter sections over in a more opaque manner.

I found this method (grisaille+glaze flat transparent color+glaze more transparent color in shadowy areas+more opaque corrections and highlights+more corrections in glazing and opaque painting) to work well but be less precise and more time consuming - in the way that you're not really sure if that beautiful red glaze over that rose will be enough, or if you'll have to add 2 more glazes in the shadow areas, etc.

I still glaze certain sections of paintings, more for corrective color reasons, but find painting more directly gets me to where I want to be in a more satisfying manner.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:36 AM
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Re: Different approaches to glazing grisaille

If you say which painting style you like from a known painter this would greatly help. Are you a traditional type painter like Vermeer. Or more modern like Alex Kavensky. Both use glazing to great success but both adopt different methods of glazing.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:06 AM
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Re: Different approaches to glazing grisaille

I use a combination of both in my detailed paintings, although it's rare that I can get the depth and saturation I want with just a single glaze. But there's usually some area where I can just put a flat color on and the grisaille provides all the value. There are other areas where I have to mix separate colors for shadow and light. The underpainting usually contributes at least a little to the final values, but there may be places where the glazes completely cover it. I usually do go back after the final glazes and retouch the brightest highlights with opaque paint.

But then there are some less detailed paintings I've been doing. To maintain spontaneity I do the underpainting in a single session with no preliminary drawing and then I do the glazing in a single session as well. I maintain the highlights by wiping off the glaze where necessary.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:45 AM
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Re: Different approaches to glazing grisaille

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raffless
If you say which painting style you like from a known painter this would greatly help. Are you a traditional type painter like Vermeer. Or more modern like Alex Kavensky. Both use glazing to great success but both adopt different methods of glazing.

I'm all over the place right now technique wise because I'm still teaching myself all I can! I'm definitely more of a fan of traditional-- 19th c. academic art is probably what I'm drawn to most nowadays.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:13 AM
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Re: Different approaches to glazing grisaille

Are we talking J.M. W. Turner?
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:03 PM
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Re: Different approaches to glazing grisaille

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raffless
Are we talking J.M. W. Turner?

Love him too, basically everything I like is in the blog in my signature!
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:42 PM
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Re: Different approaches to glazing grisaille

Hi,

I am starting a series of portraits in oil using the classic, indirect approach. My first one I am starting with a grisaille underpainting.

I'm not sure I fully understand your question so I will just follow this thread for now, because I really want to learn this approach and I find all the different options very confusing.

One thing I have learned though is what we call grisaille is only one technique for doing an underpainting. There's something call verdaccio, which is more greenish. You can also do more of a wipe-out approach on a white ground, meaning you are not using any white in the underpainting. The underpainting can also use more than one colour (like a warm and a cool).

A lot of this I have learned from a book on classical oil portrait painting, which is good in some ways but also really confusing in some ways!

What subjects are you working on?
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:57 PM
Anjikun Anjikun is offline
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Re: Different approaches to glazing grisaille



Here is my first layer of grisaille on this one. It's painted over light yellow toned ground. The grisaille is ivory black, raw umber and chromium oxide green with flake white replacement.

I added the green because I was going for a verdaccio, but ivory black overpowered it completely. Next time I will try the traditional verdaccio, which is mars black with yellow ochre. I have to buy some mars black.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:39 PM
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Re: Different approaches to glazing grisaille

Hi,

I have provided this link before, the demonstration is incomplete, but you can probably get some useful information from it:

http://www.artistsnetwork.com/articl...om-a-grisaille
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:19 PM
Anjikun Anjikun is offline
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Re: Different approaches to glazing grisaille

Thanks for posting that tutorial. It is very interesting, as he starts the grisaille with the lightest values. I always start with the darkest values. Next time I am going to try the other way around!
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