Grey tone painting (grisaille)
Material imitation is the imitation of the substance of a material; Grey tone painting shows the materials plastic form.
We use nuanced colours between dark grey and white, to imitate the effect of light and shade. Especially when the observer steps further away from the painting, the three dimensional effect becomes more intense. Grey tone painting can also be tone in tone painting, for example the painting in grey blue tones or in sepia-tones.
Where grey tone painting refers to architectural elements (for example pillars, pilasters, cornices, niches, rustic plaster etc.) one speaks of “virtual architecture”. One example of this “virtual architecture” is the painting on the inner courtyard of the traditional restaurant “Zum Franziskaner” in Munich, which is situated opposite the national theatre. The smoothly plastered wall has the look of a profiled facade in the style of classicism.
By using the light-dark contrast, painted marble becomes a distinguished cassette, engravings start to appear in stone slabs, and smooth walls can be transformed into figural reliefs.
Painted curtains also come to life in that way. Our book “Grey tone painting, virtual architecture, drapes” (study series illusion painting, Vol. 2) shows several projects regarding that topic.
Grey tone painting allows the creation of stylish decoration in a decent way. Even in very funcional and less playful surroundings, grey tone painting sets artistic highlights, without unnecessarily hiving off.