Jun 11, 2015

Renaissance Painting Techniques and Pencil??


Renaissance  Painting Techniques and Graphite
An unusual combination 

The Renaissance Painters used a Grisaille, a painting executed usually in shades of gray, as an underpainting for oil. After completing the grisaille they glazed layers of colour on top creating not only a beautiful painting but saving time and paint.  (Certainly something to consider when you were making your own paint!!)  Since the late 17th century, using a grisaille underpainting is not as popular but still used by many artists.
Summer Morning - Commission

A QUIET SPOT - Commission
The effect of the grisaille underpainting on the medium on top is very interesting.  It does create a unique finish.  In my case, as you know I like to work in graphite.  But sometimes there is a something in my subject that calls out for a bit of colour.  ( Graphite purist you may want to stop reading now!!  I realize this is sacrilegious in your world.  But . . .   sometimes you just need that bit of colour!!)

As a result, I have mixed a bit of coloured pencil into my graphite and I find I have had some very happy results!

Usually I add just a bit of colour in a few places to highlight an important feature of a bird or animal but this time I went all the way!.  I first did a complete drawing with graphite, with all my tonal values.  And I must admit that it was a lovely little drawing at this point. But I pressed on.  Using Prismacolor pencils I glazed over my pencil work.  It was very interesting to see that the colours could be mixed right on the paper even with the graphite underneath.  The graphite seems to have a muting effect to the pencils and gives an interesting overall tone and texture.  One that really appeals to me.

Here is a close up from "A Quiet Spot".  You can see the lighter part of the leaf has no graphite underneath while the branch and shadow area do.  Notice how nicely the colours mix; the density of colour; the texture it provides; Interesting, eh!

So all you dry media artists like myself, we don't have to feel left out.  Those Renaissance Painters had some great techniques that we can use as well!!

Have a great day,
Here are links to some of my other pictures that mix graphite and coloured pencil.
a. Drawing a White Cat with Pencil!!??
b. This Little Lamb is "On His Own"
c. Can you draw White with a Gray Pencil???


Brenda Hill CDM said...

Interesting about mixing them together, but it gives great results

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Thanks, I know you are purist so a real compliment!