Grisaille (pronounced griz eye) is a painting technique that dates back to the Italian Renaissance. By developing the subjects on canvas using only varying shades of grey, the artist could save his more precious pigments for the final layer. This method was generally hidden from the viewer, as it was completely covered in color at the last stage of creation.A new use of grisaille is popping up, and I must say, I like it. Take work from two of my favorite contemporary artists, Daryl Feril and Anna Kincaide:
Daryl leaves aspects of his nature drawings in the original grisaille, while dancing around it with bold color.
In both cases, leaving portions of their creations in the raw grey family creates an additional depth to their pieces that transcends reality. This harkens back to the “4th dimension” concept of the Cubist movement. Dream world meets awareness? Past collides with present? Fiction vs. Factual? Did I already say that I like it? Using grisaille as a platform of expression is brilliant.
Be sure to check out Daryl and Anna’s work on their attached websites!