Grisaille Underpainting of a Chameleon

I decided with this Chameleon picture to use a grisaille underpainting technique.  This basically means I paint the shadows on first in whatever my chosen shadow colour is.  Since my chameleon is going to be green with yellow and cyan I thought a dark greenish/blue /grey would be good.  I also underpainted the branch she is sitting on but since this will be painted in warmer browns and used a dark brown underpaint colour for this bit.


It was really fun to use the gouache paint like this.  When I use it thin enough it behaves exactly like a watercolour which gives lots of nice effects.  Sadly I’ll lose most of those when I paint the main colour on top but it’s nice to see them and experience them as I can use the same technique again another time on another painting.

My set up for painting has pretty much settled down now into a standard workspace.  It looks like this:



Note the emergency Oreos – essential kit for painting.  I wonder if the Mona Lisa would have had a proper smile on her face if Leonardo Da Vinci had had a pack?  Maybe that’s why her smile is supposed to be a bit odd – maybe he only had boring biscuits.

I’ve left the picture taped down to my drawing board becuase I’m going to carry on and do the overpainting when I next get a chance (I’m still not physically very well).  So here’s a photo of it on the board:



And here’s a close up:



5 thoughts on “Grisaille Underpainting of a Chameleon

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