Monday, April 14, 2008

Pear Grisaille

I've started work on the Pear Grisaille. This snap is only a test to get the colour I wanted.

What is a grisaille you ask? "Grisaille is a traditional painting technique which uses a palette of greys to build up the tonal values of the picture. It can either be left as a monochrome or colour can be added by glazing. While it was traditionally done with oil paints or tempera, the technique is suitable for use with a range of media, e.g. acrylics, watercolours, inks, coloured pencil...."

Two other artist friends (Ann and Rhonda) have been working at the same technique. Ann is in Oklahoma and Rhonda is in Kentucky and we often do painting projects together like this! The internet is great! (Ann gave me the perfect idea of using her blog to keep track of colour mixes and techniques used for a painting. I often put things down on paper but then lose the paper!)

So, my first step was to mix a nice gray. I could have used something on my palette but I wanted a soft gray with nuances of other colours in there, too. I used a watery wash of prussian, then a watery wash of sepia and for the darkest spots, I used a little touch of WN blue black mixed with some sepia. Otherwise, if I didn't use the WN blue/black, it just looked brown.

(A few years back, I bought a few batches of WN paint on ebay and a tube of blue/black was included. I love this colour! When it's finished, which will be soon, I am going to cry. Seriously. I can't find it anywhere for sale.)

This test pear is being done on Sennelier paper, which I do NOT like, but I got a huge pad of 100 sheets (8.5 x 11) in with some paint brushes and paint. Came as a package deal so I use it for scrap paper. I found that scumbling worked better with an almost dry brush but that could easily be due to the texture and makeup of this paper.

I plan on doing this on Arches 300 lb Cold Pressed paper, 1/4 sheet. Maybe if I get really brave, I'll do it on a full sheet! Before I put it onto the Arches though, I wanted to make sure I had those colours down pat.

So, next step is to put it on the Arches. (Arches is my absolute favourite paper!)

I've also been working at sketches for another painting I'm going to start. A huge painting of the Falls at Plaisance, which is such a favourite place of mine!!!! I have a lot of reference pics I've shot which I'm putting together in the planning. Perhaps I need to go back there soon for more inspiration and shots???

Off to work now....

ps - I really love having to stick in html codes here because Blogger won't give me proper paragraph spacing!


Ann Buckner said...

Love the grisaille pear Deb. Great grays in it. Plus, you are going to do a huge paint of your favorite place. Hope you post it as you go along so we can follow along with you.

Deborah A. Léger said...

Hi Ann, thanks for the comments. But of course I'll post as I go along. The Falls will be with our new 'mentor'! Have you started your's yet?

Ann Buckner said...

Oh cool! No haven't begun other than choosing a photo of my granddaughter sitting on the sand.

Deborah A. Léger said...

I have a kazillion photos that I now need to put altogether! lol. I'll bet your granddaughter sitting on the beach will be a wonderful painting. Watercolour or oil? Or acrylic?