Grisaille and All That

26 Mar

From City Journal comes an article about a New York school of art that introduces a modern generation of painters to  Old Masters’ oil painting techniques. The technique begins with an opaque under-painting, often in white and shades of gray (hence the term “grisaille”). Colored, transparent glazes are then laid over the under-painting in layers, until the final painting emerges. It’s painstaking and takes a long time for each layer to dry. I’ve tried it before and it does produce some wonderful effects, but I don’t have the patience to wait for the layers to dry on a regular basis.

Hence the term “all prima”, i.e. all one layer, which is the way most people paint in oil today.

One Response to “Grisaille and All That”

  1. Test April 2, 2016 at 10:13 pm #


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