Discovering Grisaille Underpainting

I'm taking the Painterly Portrait class by Julie Johnson on the Jeanne Oliver Creative Network. It's a self-paced online course which means I have access to the information whenever I want, but not the instructor (though it looks like questions are eventually answered). This suits me fine! Julie has offered a wealth of information and any/all basic questions have been answered in the comment forum.

As I mentioned in my Face Book post, I'm working toward getting through my fear of creating faces. Though I've been painting faces for a little while now, I've never truly learned some of the fundamentals. So, when Jeanne Oliver announced she was having a 50% off sale on her classes a few weeks ago, I leaped at the chance to take this class.  

One of the first practical application lessons in the class is to paint grisaille underpaintings. This is typically "a monochromatic layer using a neutral grey mixture". (I found this post nicely explains the different kinds of underpaintings.)

Um, my grisaille underpaintings probably aren't what most would call traditional. I didn't use the usual neutral gray. I grabbed Payne's Gray and Titanium White then dived right in to painting.  

A quick Pinterest search supplied me with some great photos that I printed out at wallet sizes. I traced the face shape of the first one I attempted. I wanted to alleviate the pressure of getting the face shape and proportions correct so I could, instead, focus on the values.  For the remaining three, I painted without tracing.

In short, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process and will be making more of these in the future. It's definitely one more step forward on my journey as an artist.

This is always a good thing, Y'all!

- Anna K.