Grisaille

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Grisaille

From Graydon Parrish

Published before 2005


This is where you have made a leap of faith..... we are imitating nature with paint with the limits and peculiarities of the pigments available.   Both direct and indirect methods are artifice.   This statement sounds good but isn't accurate because knowledge, not approach, is the key to color mixing, whether applied later or from the beginning.   A direct approach is only as good as one's understanding of color.

So, without out some sort of control, mud is usually the result.   The beauty of color is in the nuances of hues and chroma, and this is the hardest thing to control while maintaining the correct values. Gerhartz wins because he has a great command of values.   Yet, he is never asked to go beyond a certain point. His brio and broken color work in a big way.   Take his painting a step further, where the modeling is seen, hands are in focus and brushwork minimized, and the viewer is more demanding. That is, a purple shadow must be explained and modified if the viewer is to experience an effect of atmosphere instead of a bruise.   As a painter approaches a finish, color becomes critical as a means of explaining rather than ornamenting form.