Optical Grisaille

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  • Optical Greys Explained
  • In this video, we examine the optical grisaille technique. Daniel Mirante demonstrates a simple approach with tempera grassa (interchangeable with oil paint) for ‘optical greys’ upon an imprimatura, with oil glazing and sfumato used to describe darks.

    ‘Optical’ means ‘to the eye’ – since in this techniqe all greys are created by a dispersion of a white upon the imprimatura, with no physical mixing of whites with blacks to produce greys.

    This method can be pursued in its own right to produce monochromatic paintings (grisaille) or as an underpainting for the ‘mischtechnik’ (mixteq, mixed technique of egg tempera and oil glazes, as populared by Ernst Fuchs, Brigid Marlin, Robert Venosa, and the faculty of the Vienna Academy of Visionary Art).