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Old 05-11-2010, 12:00 PM
KJoe KJoe is offline
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How to paint over a Grisaille underpainting

I am currently painting a Grisaille portrait in raw umber and white and would like to know exactly how to apply colour over the top please? I am using Vermillion, Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine and Flake white as my colours. Do I apply one colour at a time or as a mixture, if so is it always applied as a glaze or is it just thinly scumbled? What I want is to make sure the underpainting always show's through, in the past I have done this but eventually lost the underpainting. I have looked at the forums and on the internet but can't find an exact article which properly explains the layering of colour over the Grisaille.

All help would be greatly appreciated
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:10 PM
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hblenkle hblenkle is offline
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Re: How to paint over a Grisaille underpainting

http://www.artpapa.com/html/Free_Lessons_Pink_Rose.html

Many here at Wet Canvas use his methods.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:40 PM
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Re: How to paint over a Grisaille underpainting

Generally, the key to painting over a grisaille is to use opaque pigments only on the lighted side of the subject, especially flake white. Opaque paints will fully obscure whatever layers are below. For the shaded areas and shadows, I would recommend using transparent oxide yellow instead of yellow ochre. Trans oxide yellow has the same hue and color bias as yellow ochre, although it is a bit darker. Ultramarine is only semi-transparent but that's good enough for glazing.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:05 PM
KJoe KJoe is offline
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Re: How to paint over a Grisaille underpainting

Thank you for your help and article.

Would you know of any specific articles on painting over a portrait Grisaille similar to the flowers example attched. One that explains which colours to use in which areas etc. I have found examples but none that cover from A to Z the entire process of building up the layers and which colours to use.

To clarify... your advice in general then would be to glaze one colour at a time over the dark/shadow areas and to then paint an opaque mixture only in the lighter areas? I ask as I tend to make a good Grisaille but then end up overworking the canvas and losing the underpainting in the process!

Many Thanks
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:48 AM
michelle021 michelle021 is offline
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Re: How to paint over a Grisaille underpainting

I tried glazing with a rose color and then at another time Alzerine Crimson. Both of these were so strong, that even upon diluting the paint with a medium, the color remained brightly on the canvas after wiping it off. Any suggestions? Much thanks.
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Last edited by michelle021 : 12-02-2010 at 04:50 AM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:10 AM
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Re: How to paint over a Grisaille underpainting

There is a current thread on this topic over in the oils forum.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:04 PM
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Re: How to paint over a Grisaille underpainting

wow that article is awesome. As a watercolorist, I am intrigued, impressed and bewildered. So do you guys all do this?
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:37 PM
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Re: How to paint over a Grisaille underpainting

Mimi- no, not necessarily. Glazing over a grisaille used to be How Things Were Done until the impressionists rebelled. These days you'll find both approaches, though I think more people are using a direct painting method rather than glazing, or "indirect" painting.

The artpapa site is very good, but IMHO a little bit overkill. You don't have to wait 5 weeks between layers, a few days will suffice. Also, there are a few layers you can skip.
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