Value Studies: Grisaille and Selective Coloring

Vigil 8 , charcoal on paper, 15 x 10 in / 38 x 25 cm, 2012

Aron Wiesenfeld 

Jason Bard Yarmosky - Sleep Walking

Jason Bard Yarmosky

Oswald Cromheecke
Oswald Cromheecke


Images from Francois Schuiten’s Obscure Cities (with Benoit Peeters)

Luc Tuymans

Luc Tuymans

Martine Trouïs, “Momentanément Posé Là”, huile sur toile

Martine Trouis

Grisaille is a term for paintings done usually as studies (or underpaintings) in shades of grey or a neutral monochromatic scheme.  The artists focused on composition and value studies.  The above examples are contemporary drawings or paintings that are finished but stem from the visual history of grisailles.  Below are more traditional examples in painting, drawing and printmaking, some of which may exist as studies instead of completed works.

Grisaille: monochrome shades of grey, gray. Surface Fragments.

- Painting, Photography and Sculpture - Paintings Without Color: The Grisaille - Thomas Moran 1837 - 1926 'Avalanche in Cottonwood Canyon ' 1895

Thomas Moran

Environs of Rome; (1866). Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875). Etching. 290 mm x 213 mm. The British Museum.,_e.aspx

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot

A few more contemporary applications below.

Brad Kunkle

I did say he was pretty talented part 2

Mark Donne Design


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