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  • Writer's pictureTina Corbett

Love this process

So I tried a new process and I love it! I watched a Liledahl Video my kids bought me 5 years ago! It showed how to paint in the Grisaille process. This was an old world style of painting to preserve paint that was hard and expensive to get. The old masters (Rembrandt did it a lot) painted a monotone ivory black and white underpainting so that it would use little of their precious rich color paint. After you paint the entire painting with all the values in this grey tone, you have to let it dry completely.

After it is dried you go in with glazes of transparent paints. I used Liquin and Cold press Linseed oil for my glazing. The paints I used were alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, prussian blue, transparent orange, phthalos of blue and green and sap green.

Once dried again you go in with a few opaque's which I used a combination of cobalt blue, phthalo green & blue mixed with zinc white for the blues in the water. Zinc white is semi-transparent and a nice white to lighten up your transparent paints. Titanium white is too opaque to make a light glaze. Then I used some ochre and zinc white, Cadmium yellow, white and Sap Green for accent leaves and siena mixed with ultramarine blue for the underground rocks in the spring and some warmth in the background. Use Zinc white sparingly because if used too much it is known to crack in the future.

I use mostly Gamblin paints with the ultramarine being a M. Graham tube. It was so much fun. The actually colorizing is so easy and fast because all your values are already laid in. Below you can see the original photo, the grisaille finish and then the 3rd pic is the the glazing. This top pic is the finished product with the opaque's.

The only issue is I love to paint the springs in Plein Air and this method would be difficult unless you used a lot of drying medium (Liquin) with the first day painting very thinly and coming back to paint and finish the scene the next day. You can always take a cell phone pic to capture the first light you saw on the first day and use your phone as a reference. Why not use modern conveniences!!!!!

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