Make Your Paintings Pop with Grisaille and Underpainting


Grisaille and Underpainting

In this review, we learn about grisaille and underpainting. We look at how these techniques can be used to give amazing depth and color to your paintings.

These books and tutorials shows the results you can achieve with a grisaille and underpainting techniques. Grisaille and Underpainting are tonal painting techniques for creating dimension. Renaissance artists popularized the neutral, often gray (gris is french for gray) or sepia underpainting style that gave the famous dimensional effect to their paintings. Grisaille and underpainting are known as an oil painting method but can be used with acrylics and watercolors.

Underpainting example
Underpainting example

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Want to Master the Techniques of Grisaille and Underpainting?

  • Make paintings to look realistic and alive
  • Get confidence in your colors when you paint
  • Add dimension to your painting skill set




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Learn at your own pace

This course packs in a weekend class worth of information. Go through it at your own speed. Get Started PaintingToday You get instant access to this PDF course and can begin learning right away

The clear demonstrations and explanations will help you achieve that satisfying feeling of adding an effective technique to your skill-set.

These real art lessons take you through the steps to produce realistic and extremely dimensional paintings.

The format allows you to paint along at your own pace and style while you learn the tips and secrets to make the impressive 3D style.

No matter what level of artist you are, you can immediately use this method. 

This course would be a great gift idea for an artist. Giving them an impressive skill course that can used right away.

Get the course here

 graphic by Johannes Madsen

graphic by Johannes Madsen

The painting used for the featured image of this article is called Grande Odalisque and was painted in 1814.

It was painted by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres and can be seen at TheLouvre Museum in Paris.


Learn about Grisaille and Underpainting

Learning how to paint in tones and how to develop an underpainting is part of a classic art education. Many artists find this a faster and effective way to paint because it puts your focus on creating clear tones with better control over your lost and found transitions.

Lost is a term for soft blends

Found is a term for a crisp edge

The additional layers of transparent color are easy to control and quickly build to give you an impressive dimensional painting. This underpainting and grisaille technique is great for artists who desire to paint in smooth detailed realistic style. Rendering skin, fabric and reflective surfaces is much easier with this method of painting.

Check out our Pinterest board ‘Grisaille and Underpainting’ below for inspiration and great examples of grisaille and underpainting techniques used in classic and contemporary art.

Follow Artopia Magazine's board Grisaille & Underpainting - make your paintings POP on Pinterest.