Grisaille

Studio Incamminati artists are introduced to using paint through the process of Open Grisaille. Grisaille (from the French gris for "gray") utilizes thin, semi-transparent washes of monochromatic oil paint and turpentine on a "toned" canvas to create a simplified tonal range. This establishes the movement of light vital to capturing shapes and shadows. The "under painting," is the first stage of any painting. Artists build volume as they lay in the darks and shadows by wiping out the light areas. Open Grisaille work helps artists fully convey the energy of the human figure or still life object while introducing the concepts and techniques of handling paint. With Open Grisaille, the underlying reflective surface shows through the monochromatic layers, creating a luminous glaze.

The artists' next step is the transition to Closed Grisaille: an introduction of the full tonal and value spectrum in which the still-monochromatic palette widens to incorporate cool and warm hues. Artists master feathering and blending the light darks and dark lights as well as articulating hard edges from soft edges. Brushwork becomes more subtle in recording light and shadow and the artists explore textures, learning to build paint in certain areas and keep others thin.