Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Louise 3 - Grisaille planes.

To remind you: this is not a lesson! BUT ... 

 ... if this system was good enough for Diego Velázquez, then it's good enough for me (although I got more hits on my blog than he ever did! ........... just saying.)

Today I added grisaille planes (which the dictionary defines as: decoration in tones of a single grey [gray] designed to produce a three-dimensional effect.)

I mixed the grey (gray) using a W & N Carbon Black (a slow drier) with a W & N Alkyd Titanium White (a quick drier) to speed up the drying process.

I made a grey (gray) string mixing proportions that gave me a match with each value on the scale shown above (right).

I placed splotches of the mixes on a throw away paper palette, with pure unmixed black on the extreme right and similarly unmixed white on the extreme left.

I them mixed a medium for this layer of painting thus:

Using the value finder to identify the values on my reference photograph, I replicated the value planes on the painting, observing not to blend at all; just laying in planes of grey (gray)



Finally, I just softened the lines where the grey planes met, with a dry and paint-free soft sable brush - avoiding fully blending

I've left it to dry overnight.


  1. Very nice- 50 shades of grey according to John! Valerie

  2. I start a lot of my paintings wih a value layer before I add colour. It's a great technique! And like you, I don't know which is the coreect spelling fror Grey/Gray either, lol! Super work John... and there aren't enough people sharing the basics out there for beginners in simple terms either, so kudos to you! :0)

  3. Love, love, love seeing your process and watching this come to life. I agree - if it's good enough for Velasquez.....!!!