My current work-in-progress is an approximately 22 x 15 colored pencil drawing of a cowgirl that I began several weeks ago. It is done on sanded pastel paper, as most of my work is: its surface can take almost any abuse I may heap on it...........(and good thing, as this piece has been very challenging at times!)
The photograph is a close-up image of the cowgirl's leather gloves, and shows the process I used in developing them. I started with a grisaille, or an under-drawing done in different shades of gray. The term 'grisaille' itself is derived from the french word 'gris', which means gray. Value drawings of this type are often executed in browns or sepia tones as well.
After laying in the grisaille, I developed the final and more detailed layers. In this case I used black grape, dark brown , indigo, brown ochre, greyed lavender, and several shades of gray. The top glove shows the difference between a portion of the glove that is fully completed, and the grisaille.
Increasingly I find myself choosing to use a grisaille technique in browns or grays; for me, it seems particularly useful when rendering leather or various types of fabrics.