Wow! Watercolor Grisaille Painting Tutorial, You have got to try this!

Hi friends! Today I have a technique that I think will blow your mind! It is called Grisaille and it is an old technique usually done in oils. It is how Baroque and Renaissance painters got dramatic and realistic looks to their paintings. Today we are going to learn how to do it in watercolor!

watercolor_graisaile_thumb

I have a lot of tips for success in this blog post so please read through before you begin to avoid any problems. You don’t want to spend a ton of time on your grey underpainting only to find your paint lifts for instance.

Grisaille is a French term that means to paint in monotone. You can paint in grey, brown or a grey green depending on the look you want. I am using QoR’s Neutral tint watercolor for several reasons: #1. A viewer requested a tutorial with it. #2. I had it from the 24 QoR set I recently purchased and I never thought I’d use it but I didn’t want it to go to waste and the most important reason #3. As luck would have it it’s the perfect neutral gray and it resists lifting so I don’t have to worry much about reactivating it while I glaze my color on top. Please refer to the photo of my grey underpainting below as you create your grisaille underpainting.

grisaille_step

After your underpainting is dry you will be glazing (glazing means to paint a layer of transparent color over a dry layer) color on top. The colors for glazing are:

  • Permanent Alizarin Crimson-This is a transparent staining cool red
  • Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) – This is a transparent staining cool blue
  • Nickel Azo Yellow _ This is a chameleon of a color, when used thinly it has a cool greenish undertone but when used thickly it has a warm amber undertone, I have never seen a color to have such different color tones when used in different strengths. It is also very transparent which is quite odd for a yellow.

37849280_10212206022571192_8600573831582580736_o

Here is the reference photo. You can download a larger version of this beautiful photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash for free. I chose this photo because of the dramatic lighting.  This photo captures the Chiaroscuro effect perfectly. Chiaroscuro is an Italian art term referring to strong contracts between light and dark and you will often see the shadowed edges of objects just disappear into blackness (like the olives in this photo) if gives drama to a painting and adds volume and a sumptuous effect to a painting. This technique was favored by baroque painters and also used to depict dramatic religious scenes by Renaissance painters. Don’t you feel smart now?

photo-1474979266404-7eaacbcd87c5.jpg

Please watch the video for the full tutorial. This will be broadcast live at 12:30pm eastern time on 7/27/18 so tune in on YouTube if you want to ask questions as we go along. The replay will be available after the livestream as well. This technique takes time so don’t be discouraged if you need to take a few sessions to complete this or rest your eyes along the way. Enjoy the challenge of learning something new!

Supplies available at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama!  Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.

Supplies:

  • QoR Watercolors (colors can be bought individually or in the 24 color set with many other useful colors I recommend) Neutral Tint, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), Nickel Azo Yellow
  • Brushes: You want soft brushes for the color glazing such as the Mimic squirrel brushes in a variety of sizes. For the grisaille layer using neutral tint you can use whatever brushes you prefer. If you are not using QoR neutral tint be sure to test your “black” on the paper you plan to use for lifting as you want a staining color that is hard to lift. If you do not have a non lifting black watercolor use a non shellac waterproof black ink. ***Important! You will also want a soft blunt round or filbert (aka mop brush) that will be used dry for blending and mottling color. Do not rinse this brush while we paint, it is to remain dry for the duration of the painting and then you can clean it. A mimik filbert will be good for this or any small soft mop you have.
  • Paper: I recommend the Aquabee #140 6″x9″ cotton watercolor paper I usually use for tests or try the Fabriano Artistico 7″x10″ test pack for $2.25 at Jerry’s because these paper will not lift as much as other more heavily sized paper. Plus it’s a good deal!
  • Pattern to trace

Tips for trying this with other subjects.

  1.  Learn the process by working step by step through this project so you know how to apply the layers before striking out on your own.
  2. Take (or choose) a photo with strong lighting and high contrast between lights and shadows.
  3. If you struggle seeing values (values means how light or dark something is) then desaturate (make grayscale) your photo in your computers image editing program to make it a black and white photo and it will be easier to work with.
  4. Make sure whatever you use for your underpainting does not easily lift. Test your paint and paper before you begin so you don’t end up with mud when you glaze.
  5.  Use very transparent paint and soft watercolor brushes for glazing color.
  6. Keep a couple soft dry brushes on hand for diffusing, blending and softening colors. Think of this process like hand tinting a black and white photo.

I get asked a lot about shading and value when I am watercolor painting. if you would like help with learning about values and drawing what you see accurately my online class Learn to Draw with Lindsay focuses on just that. I know many people have no interest in learning how to draw and that’s fine (that’s why I provide patterns for many of my painting tutorials) but if you want to be able to draw without gimmicks and train your eyes to see shade and values accurately please consider checking out this course:)

drawing_class_thhumbnail

I hope you enjoyed this lesson that combines art history with classic technique. Pat yourself on the back if you painted along, it is probably the most advanced technique I’ve done on a free live friday watercolor lesson! If you would like to see more techniques like this let me know and please share this tutorial with a friend or on social media or pin it on Pinterest! Long in-depth tutorials don’t do well on YouTube so please share if you care! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

20180727_082327.jpg

 

Advertisements

Live Free Rose Painting Class Today! 12:30pm ET

Hi friends! I had some time yesterday to plan today’s live stream and this is what I came up with:

Lweirich_rose_with_glazes

I really enjoyed painting this one although I am not thrilled with the 3 pale leaves in the upper right corner so I think I will leave them out, we can always free-hand them in later (so if you are tracing the pattern you can leave those out.) I think it is a wonderful lesson to learn how to capture the soft, smooth, velvety texture of rose petals by building luminous glazes. It is really a kinda advanced technique but as always I will break it down so even beginners can understand and I always make my replays available so you can work at your own pace and come back later if needed:) Below if the photo we will work from.

Pink roses

You can watch the live stream or replay in the player below but if you want to chat live with other painters or ask me questions as we go you will need to watch at 12:30 today on youtube.

Supplies (*Compensated affiliate links used. I earn a small commission on sales made via my links, it helps keep my tutorials free on YouTube without costing you a penny more, thank you for your support:)

Member’s Favorite classes are on sale this weekend at Craftsy for under $20 including my class Mix it Up Mixed Media Step by Step!

email-header-class-sale_art

Browse hundreds of classes from painting, sewing, quilting,cardmaking, gardening and crafts and save big! Don’t you love to learn something new?

rosethumbnail_glazeslweirich

I hope you join me for a free live painting class today and if you love the friday live lesson please share with a friend! there are handy sharing links at the bottom of this post, you can pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook or even Tweet it! With all of the depressing stuff on social media these days let’s share something happy and fun! I’ll see you live at 12:30pm ET today, til then happy crafting!

Video Tutorial by Request: Making Rubber Stamps with Bake & Bend Clay!

Howdy folks! Woah Nellie is it cold today! Looks like it will warm up a bit tomorrow just in time to get 1 or 2 feet of snow, ahhh, Maine weather, I think I will stay inside and craft! Here is a box I painted a while back and then stamped with a homemade honeycomb stamp I made with Sculpey bake and bend clay. I used it last week to create flexible molds with and I have to say my mind is spinning with all of the creative possibilities of this stuff.

DCF 1.0

Here’s how I painted the box with acrylic paint:

  1. Paint the box light green. Let dry
  2. Mix cream with glazing medium and paint over the green then press plastic wrap in the wet glaze and smoosh the wrap around to create cool texture. Let dry.
  3. Tear some paper and tape it to the box to mask off an area that will be honeycomb.
  4. Use a sponge to dab yellow ocher, cream and brown in the masked off areas. Let dry.
  5. Use a sponge brush or make-up wedge to apply brown paint to the rubber stamp (watch the video to learn how to make the stamp) and stamp in the yellow areas.
  6. Remove the paper mask and use a small round brush to outline the yellow honeycomb sections.
  7. Use a liner brush and watery brown paint to paint the lettering on the box. Let dry.
  8. Mix some brown with glaze medium and sponge around the edges and corners to antique it.
  9. Cut bees (Anna Griffin I think) from pattern paper and decoupage on with water-based varnish or decoupage medium and give the whole box a coat of varnish while you are at it.
  10. Don’t forget to paint the inside of the box for a professional look!

Tip: Lay a piece of waxed paper between the top and bottom of the box when closed for the first week after it is painted so they won’t stick together, this gives the paint a chance to fully cure.

Now, on to the stamp making video!

If you have any questions just leave a comment and I will get right back to you! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

%d bloggers like this: