Various Oil Painting Methods
Painting Grisaille or Dead Color Underpainting
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Grisaille or Dead Color Underpainting
After we completed a Brush Sketch, we immediately, without waiting for the Brush Sketch to dry, proceeded to the next step. We are about to make a monochromatic Underpainting that clearly establishes the shape of the portrait. We are going to highlight the form with Titanium White over this freshly painted Sketch.
We can do the highlighting in the following way. Very similarly to the Dry Brush approach, we apply a small amount of paint to the canvas, and then gradually spread it around. There is not any additional Medium required for this, just pure paint from a tube. The brush should be “dry,” containing just a little amount of paint.
In such way, spreading the paint little by little, we can control the process and not overload the canvas with the paint.
What we get as the result is a very subtle Scumbling layer of White paint. Because the Brush Sketch was done with a very thin layers, and in other places with just a minimal amount of rubbed paint, such Sketch can intermix with the White paint just fractionally, practically insensibly.
Alternatively, we can also paint white highlights over a completely dry Brush Sketch, which is what we will do right now. The process is exactly the same as we just watched – we gradually spread White paint, creating a gentle Scumbling layer over a darker background.
We can place our previous example of highlighting over a freshly painted Brush Sketch. You see that the difference is minimal, but yet we can feel that the White Highlights and Red Sketch were at some degree intermixed.
Well, in my opinion, there is no difference. Either you wait till the Brush Sketch dries, or not – the result is very much similar, so do as you find it comfortable for you.