A few years ago, a few other artists from around the world and I were commissioned to paint our own versions of Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa for an advertising campaign. In the end, the campaign didn’t launch for various reasons. I enjoyed making this. It’s actually acrylics on Arches watercolour paper but I followed the way the original may have been painted; colour glazed over a grisaille underpainting.
One of my daughters posed for me, making the ‘duck-face’.
The craquelure effect comes from a specialist varnish which is in itself quite tricky to use. It can go very wrong if you miss a bit.
A Brunaille: technique of making a warm, monochrome underpainting
If you want to try out this technique of making a warm, monochrome underpainting at next week’s class, you will need the following tubes of ACRYLIC paint:
Flesh Tint (Winsor & Newton) or Warm Bright Yellow (Sennelier)
This technique provides you with a great big safety net for you when you get to the point of adding colour by glazing -and the results can be beautifully rich and lustrous. I often use this method in my hand painted illustrations as I can get the whole work planned out in monochrome before committing to colour. In the image above, I didn’t even glaze colour and left the brunaille as it was -I thought colour would detract from this one. If you’d like me to hold a demonstration in your area, why not drop me a line at email@example.com?
Brunaille: Underpainting in warm monochrome.
Grisaille: Underpainting in cool monochrome.
Lately, I’ve been doing more and more ‘brunailles‘, in other words, three colour paintings usually made in order to establish tone before glazing over with colour. I was captured by how much expression can be made without very much colour at all.
160321_35. 6″ x 8″. Acrylics on canvas
Also by the way the light pigment (in these cases, Sennelier’s Warm Bright Yellow) seems to almost emit light. These old nurse’s uniforms look fantastic where the white parts are represented thus.
You can ‘tip’ the emphasis from cooler to warmer greys by adding more ultramarine or burnt sienna to the three colour mix -as you can see in the warmer, redder cast to the second painting.