Sunday, November 13, 2011

Open and Closed Grisaille Painting

Today was day two of my painting class and we worked on open and closed grisaille painting. The first layer is open grisaille where we are only to use burnt umber and a bit of turpentine to paint our image. No white is allowed, which made this pretty difficult for me. Paint kept lifting off if I went over the area more than once, which I couldn't help but do. I am used to using one color BUT I also use white in order to lighten my color. Because of this, the paint lifting off isn't as big as a problem since I am not using turpentine to lighten and shade my color.

With this first layer, the whitest part is the white of the panel, kind of like doing a watercolor, but not. Sadie said this was going to be the "adolescent" stage of our painting: the work would not look smooth (kind of like flawed skin), and she was right. My egg looks pretty bad and splotchy. Having never taken an oil painting class, I am glad to learn a technical side to painting, but I am not used to having my under-paintings look this bad. I know that under-paintings are just that, under-paintings, and that first layer can look like crap because there's no paint on the panel to create a smooth surface. Everything has to be built upon. I know this, which is why I am not freaking out just yet about how bad this painting looks so far.  I have faith in the process...

In addition to painting our egg, we are also working on spheres as homework. Since I was done with my open grisaille work, I could move on to the next layer which is closed grisaille. Here I am allowed to use white, burnt umber, and ultramarine blue to make a black and shades of gray. Getting the grays to be a true neutral was hard. Mine tended towards a more "cool" shade with too much blue. I still have more work to do on this and will go over it with another layer of grays when I am done. Each layer I will be refining my sphere, making the transitions more flawless and smooth as I go.

In other news, I finished the painting portion of my latest piece. Now I need to wait for paint to dry before waxing it.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful article Jhina. I enjoyed your discussion on open and closed Grisaille. I searched for that term in google, and your article popped up. I'm pleased I chose it. Your explanation of the two terms is spot on!