The above painting was created by painting a grisaille first then glazing with color. The grisaille (pronounced "griz-eye") method of painting has a long history Wikipedia has a concise explanation for those new to this method of painting with excellent links for further learning. Below you can see how the painting was first painted entirely with black and white paint to create a multitude of shades of grey. The progression of images shows how I developed the painting from the grisaille, slowly adding transparent glazes of color until I achieved completion of the painting in full color. This is a classical way of painting. In many ateliers it was an important aspect of traditional art training. Students were only allowed to paint in monochrome, often for a year or more, until they mastered drawing and handling of value. Only then were they allowed to begin with color.
I find that some paintings are lovely left in monochrome: