How to use Grisaille with Copic Alcohol Markers


It's Tutorial Tuesday!

Learn how to use the grisaille technique to create a spooky graveyard beauty queen!

In this week's tutorial, we're going to use 3 shades of gray to create an "underpainting" that sets the values in our image before tinting it to bring our Graveyard Zombie Beauty Queen to life.

So what is grisaille anyway?

From Wikipedia: 
A grisaille (/ɡrɪˈzaɪ/ or /ɡrɪˈzeɪl/; French: gris [ɡʁizaj] 'grey') is a painting executed entirely in shades of grey or of another neutral greyish colour...A grisaille may be executed for its own sake, as underpainting for an oil painting (in preparation for glazing layers of colour over it), or as a model for an engraver to work from. Full colouring of a subject makes many more demands of an artist, and working in grisaille was often chosen as being quicker and cheaper, although the effect was sometimes deliberately chosen for aesthetic reasons.
Beginning your coloring with a gray underpainting is a wonderful technique to add to your knowledge base. It tones the entire image down for less vibrant, and often more realistic colors. It also means you can put in the values of your entire image with the same 3 - 5 colors. This quick work of creating contrast in your finished piece.

Update January 2020:
Grab Graveyard Beauty Queen below for this tutorial =)

Keep in mind...

You don't have to use Copics to follow along. The most important part here is that your coloring medium have transparency for the tinting part which any alcohol marker, or colored pencil do. Just use your color chart to match what you have to my colors below. Then create your own palette from that, labeling your colors with the Copic codes below so you can follow along with the video. Easy peasy =) 

Feel free to pin the image below to your Pinterest board so you can come back to the tutorial later :)

Have a Haunting Halloween!


  1. Replies
    1. She is!

      So glad you like her!