Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Coloring a Grisaille

Working on the Polaroid series is slow but fun. It takes a long time to paint the grisaille, or tonal underpainting. Sometimes artists do these in grey values, other times they might use browns or greens. Then they float glazes of color, thin, transparent hues over the base painting, and layer them one atop the other with adequate drying time in between.

I thought I'd like to share the process on this blog, so above are three consecutive renditions of Tea, © 2015. It's an image from a little shop in San Francisco, where I visited a few years ago. There's still a lot more to do, but you can't rush this process. If you add a glaze over a layer that's not fully dry, you'll pick up the layer of color beneath and end up with streaks.

It's a little like placing sheets of colored glass on top of each other— if you paint a blue layer over a yellow one, you'll get green. What do you think so far?

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