GRIZAYE was created by Sally Robertson, publisher, and editor-in-chief of COLORED PENCIL Magazine. Trademarked in 2021.

Derived from the art term: Grisaille
Pronounced ‘griz-EYE’
From the French word meaning “Gray”

Often used in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, grisaille is done when an artist uses a limited palette, shades of gray, or of another neutral grayish color to create a painting’s first layer, called the underpainting.

Not just a black and white

More than just a photo turned black & white!

I originally developed Grizaye to bridge the gap between coloring book artists (and those new to the colored pencil medium) and fine artists.

As a publisher of a fine art magazine, I heard from many discouraged artists, feeling as if they would never be as good as those featured on the covers of COLORED PENCIL Magazine. It was then that I knew I had to create a product that would allow beginners to experience real and immediate success. Something that was enjoyable, affordable, and with visible results.

After years of research and development, I finally had what I was looking for – I called it Grizaye, after the grisaille painting method. More than simply turning a photo into a black-and-white copy, we tweak each area of the image to ensure that you can see your tones and details clearly. This allows you to apply colored pencils to the piece with full coverage and no smudging!

It takes months of testing and recreating each Grizaye before it is released for sale. We are also working hard to make additional materials, including step-by-step, color guides, videos, and even classes, available for our kits to further your success.


After evaluating all the highest quality artist papers available, we decided on Legion Stonehenge Warm White. Stonehenge paper is simply gorgeous yet tough enough to hold endless layers of pencil and most solvents. It is also acid- and lignin-free, protecting your paper for years to come. The warm white color allows you to add white highlights that pop and brighten selected areas.


I personally take each photo reference myself, making them royalty-free so you can have the confidence to post, share and even sell your finished piece – with no credit back necessary.


Once putting out our first Grizaye kit “The Rose Collection” with three flowers to work on, I was amazed at how well it was received for a brand new product. Not only did we sell more than expected, but we were also encouraged to make more and even expand our brand to include high-quality art supplies!

It was stunning to hear how it was helping even experienced artists focus on their shading and blending skills – reflecting in their real-world work.

My true joy in life is helping artists improve their colored pencil art. Nothing is more satisfying than to see beginners succeed in creating fine art and experienced artists improving and bringing back the fun by eliminating some of the tedious chores of planning and prepping. I am grateful to help you find a way to succeed through Grizaye.

I hope you will try our Grizaye products and see where it will take you! – Sally Robertson

3 stages of a Grizaye