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Molly Holsworth
Grand Prize, Art Challenge, International Artist Magazine 2016

My love affair with the old master’s technique began in Paris. I was 10, vacationing with my parents and visiting the Louvre. What I experienced there was nothing less than spiritual, a facility with tone and value rarely seen today. Grisaille technique is a powerful technique for rendering the quality of light and every good artist should try the process to truly understand it.

June 3 to June 23   |   July 15 to August 4   |   Sept 16 to Oct 6
GRISAILLE:   Getting better acquainted with tonal control
Helpful hints

Grisaille technique uses a nine value scale ranging from white to black, to create the illusion of depth. It's more often seen in the classical realist style of rendering, as an intial under-painting with subsequent layers of transparent colour applied over top. Grisaille is a great way to start if you want to your hand at oil painting. It's also useful with acrylics as long as you're comfortable using retardent mediums.


• Preparing boards and canvases
• Oil versus acrylic, mediums and gessos
• The theory of pure tone

• Prepping your canvases

• Brush technique
• Variations in Grisaille
• Prepping your canvases
• Working up the first layers of Grisaille

• Prepping your canvases

• Brush technique
• Rendering with coaching as part of a group
• How to combine oil and acrylic and when to do so

• Prepping your canvases

• Working towards a finished painting
• One on One coaching, at least 20 minutes per student
• Abstract theory and excercise in multi-media, based on grisaille philosophy
• Group discussion with open question and answer time

• Prepping your canvases

Acrylic paints, good selection, primary and secondary colours (student grade is preferable), and include Mars black and Flake white, Liquitex or Golden brand
• 10 canvases, at least 12 x 16
• canvas paper
• A few photos, preferably landscapes
• Gesso, Liquitex, 1 gallon
• Slow-dry retarder gel
• Colour wheel
• Sketchbook at least 12 x 16 inches
• HB, 2B to 4B pencils and artists gum erasor
• Paper towels

walking pine art retreat beginners page graphic

A note about brushes

Brushes for acrylic painting can be stiff bristled or soft and synthetic depending on whether you want textured brush marks and how much you are trying to blend hues.

Acrylic paints are softer than oils but thicker than watercolors, so your brushes can be somewhere in the middle.

A palette knife’s optional but is great for experimentation.

Other supplies you should bring

Pencils, 2B, 3B

Artist quality gum erasers

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