I have never painted a picture using the Grisaille method so I thought I would practice on oranges, a half lemon and a few jars of marmalade. The colours are complimentary, orange and purple.
Using black and white paint I covered the canvas with four tones, black, mid tone, dark tone and white. I painted in the jars, oranges and lemon trying to be as accurate as I could and looking carefully at the light and dark shapes.
Now for the exciting bit! Using glazing liquid and a small amount of paint I glazed each area of tone separately. I had to wait for each layer to dry before glazing again so it took time and patience to cover the whole canvas. I enjoyed painting the jars of marmalade using red and yellow mixed to make orange, as I glazed layer over layer I could begin to see the rich colours emerging.
Here is the finished painting. I enjoyed the experiment and was pleased with the resulting richness of tones. I like particularly the way the oranges glow out from the dark background and that marmalade looks good enough to eat! I am not certain that I have the patience to build up layers with glazing but it was certainly fun to try. My preferred way to paint is Alla Prima – which is all in one go. This way seems to suit my desire to make intuitive marks for a painting which is full of life and vigour.