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A step-by-step demonstration of the process used to create Lichen Cups, Moss and Rock from my GroundWorks series. This process utilizes the old masters technique of creating a grisaille or monotone under-painting and then applying layers of transparent glazes to achieve the final full color painting. This demonstration focuses primarily on the execution of the grisaiile.

GroundWorks Process
Amy Bock GroundWorks Process OIl on panel
Lichen Cups, Moss and Rock, Grisaille Process, Stage One
OIl on panel
36" x 24"

This is the first stage of creating Lichen Cups, Moss and Rock. I have primed my panel with a neutral gray and have sketched in the contour line for the painting. This is a highly detailed painting which took about 4 months to complete.

Amy Bock GroundWorks Process
Lichen Cups, Moss and Rock Process, Stage Two

I begin painting starting with the darkest values first. I am limiting myself to using burnt sienna, ivory black and titanium white.

Amy Bock GroundWorks Process
Lichen Cups, Moss and Rock Process, Stage Three

Working around the painting I start to make value associations, broadly painting in the tones. Details will come later when the entire painting is covered in this first pass.

Amy Bock GroundWorks Process
Lichen Cups, Moss and Rock Process, Stage Four

I couldn't wait to get started painting the lichen on the rock in the foreground, I decided to use impasto medium with the titanium white to build up the surface texture of the lichen growing upon the rock to raise it up a bit.

Amy Bock GroundWorks Process
Lichen Cups, Moss and Rock Process, Stage Five

All values in, first pass complete!

Amy Bock GroundWorks Process
Lichen Cups, Moss and Rock Process, Stage Six

Now that all of the initial values have been finished, I start to flesh out the detail and render the forms. I also decided to use the impasto on some of the centrally located leafy lichens.

Amy Bock GroundWorks Process
Lichen Cups, Moss and Rock Process, Stage Seven

Grisaille completed! The under-painting process took about 75% of the total painting time.

Amy Bock GroundWorks Process
Lichen Cups, Moss and Rock Process, Finished Glazing

This is the final painting showing all the multiple layers of glazing medium combined with transparent and semi-transparent pigment.

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