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3-Day Grisaille Painting Workshop
Philip Rubinov Jacobson & Mantra Cora
October 20 - 22, 2023
Fri, Sat & Sun

1. SELFportrait2013 BW.jpg

Self-portrait by Prof. Phil in Egg Tempera & Oil


Grisaille portrait, oil painting by Mantra Cora

At CityArts in Wichita, Kansas


CityArts is owned and operated by the City of Wichita 

334 N. Mead | Wichita, KS 67202 | (316) 350-3245

Contact the teachers at: (520) 332-4544 

What is a Grisaille? 

Grisaille is a painting technique in which an artist uses a monochromatic palette in greys, or similar neutral grey colors to build an image. For the etymologist in you, Grisaille comes from the French word for grey: “gris.” Historically, some artists used the technique to make a model from which to base an engraving. Others used the technique because they preferred the monochromatic look. Still others used it as the foundation for layering oil paint colors on top of one another to create their oil painting.

Grande Odalisque in Grisaille.jpg

Grande Odalisque in Grisaille, 1814 (Musée du Louvre, Paris),

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres and workshop

This technique involves several steps. First, a toned canvas sets the stage for your work. That means painting the canvas with a neutral mid-tone, so it’s no longer white. Next, you draw the subject. Then you start adding medium shades of grey to create shadows. You can either layer your lighter areas first or you can block in darker areas - every artist has their own approach. Regardless of your method, this step is about gradually adding more detail and building up your darkest and lightest tints. The effect can be quite stunning in and of itself, or you can choose to use your Grisaille as an underpainting and then layer colors over it to create your final work.

Grisaille has several benefits. It can be cost-effective as you’re only using shades of one color. It helps with painting over in color; you can use grey tints and shades that can be easily worked over. In addition, one has to focus only on light and shade without thinking about color, making the painting process a bit less complex and arduous. A Grisaille may be executed for its own sake, as an underpainting for an oil painting (in preparation for glazing layers of color over it), or as a model for an engraver to work from. 

The Trekell Art Company offers an array of paints, canvases, and panels with which you can create your Grisaille art. While the technique is most often used in oil painting and acrylic painting, it can also be done in watercolors. 


The Grisaille approach is a great launching point for artists who mainly work in pencil and want to try oil painting. 

You can choose to do a Portrait or Still Life during the Workshop


Grisaille portrait painting in progress by David Pagani


Notes & Review Before Getting Started

You will use an image as a reference for your painting. For a portrait, in the classical realist tradition, a live model is usually used as a reference. For still life, a setup of objects is usually used. Typically, commonplace objects which are either natural (food, flowers, dead animals, plants, rocks, shells, etc.) or man-made (drinking glasses, books, vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, etc.) are used to compose the still-life.

However, using a master copy, or photo references can be useful for the artist to examine how to approach the painting.


Your painting will be completed over the course of one weekend. The Friday session will focus on blocking-in the lights and darks and establishing an overall map of the painting. Saturday and Sunday are focused on refining the variations of shadows and lights, as well as the fine details.



Three-Day Grisaille Painting Workshop. 



Friday, October 20th, 2023, 12.30 pm - 4.30 pm

Saturday, October 21st, 2023, 9.30 am - 2.30 pm (including one hour break for lunch)

Sunday, October 22nd, 2023, 12.30 pm - 4.30 pm

It would be a 3-day workshop, 4 hours a day.



Wichita City Arts, 334 N Mead St, Wichita, KS 67202


Space is limited to 10 participants.

To register and secure your place for the workshop scroll down to the Paypal boxes:


* Early Bird tuition fee after discount: $350.00 ($45 OFF when you pay in full no later than September 10th). 

* Regular tuition fee: $395.00 paid after September 10th.


Payment can be done directly to a PayPal account:

Materials included in the price:



Palette knife

Medium holder




Oil Paints (Burnt Umber, White and Black)


Tuition Fee does not include paint brushes.


EARLY BIRD Tuition Rate:     $350.00  >  

Before September  10:  

($45 OFF when you pay in full no later than

September 10th, 2023). 


Space is limited to 10 participants.


After September  10:    $395.00.  > 

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