Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sea Shell Closed Grisaille - Work in Progress

Closed Grisaille - Oil on Panel 8x8"
This is the second stage of the sea shell painting I started earlier this week.  The first session I painted the open grisaille which is just a painting completed entirely using very thin layer of an earth color such as burnt umber, burnt sienna or in this case, asphaltum.The toned or white substrate shows through slightly.  I used a flat stiff brush and mineral spirits with the asphaltum to draw out the basic shape of the shell using straight lines and focusing on angles and shapes, trying to not think of the actual object as a shell but as a series of puzzle shapes.

Once the open grisaille was dry, I used my premixed tubes of neutral grays to paint the closed grisaille.  The closed grisaille is a painting usually using neutral grays that allows the artist to focus on the value structure without the complexity of color.  I have values pre-mixed and tubed from a value 2 neutral gray to a value 9, titanium white is a value 10 which I did not use.  Pre-mixing and tubing your oil paints takes time and can seem a little tedious at the time but having your own tubed paints is priceless!

As this painting was done from life without a prior sketch, I used the beginning of the session to correct drawing errors that were painfully obvious once I came back to the easel with fresh eyes.  Even if I had done a prior sketch before jumping in with paint, I find I am always fixing small drawing errors.  As long as they get smaller as I progress, I think that is ok ;)

The closed grisaille was completed in two short sessions as I was dragged away mid-session, argh.  I was not able to soften the edges in the background as much as I would have normally but hopefully it will not cause me too much grief. 

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