Monday, March 19, 2012

Underpainting - Using Color to Start a Painting


I've had questions both recently, and in the past, about how I use underpainting in my work, so today is a bit of an explanation using cropped versions of recent paintings. I use a color or underpainting  about 80% of the time, and it helps with different issues. First, it establishes a value to judge other mixes against. I frequently  use a value of about 3 and a mix of cad yellow and perm. rose. Depending on the painting, it will lean more toward yellow, orange or pink. Second, a warm underpainting will affect your other colors, including cooler colors, giving them a bit more life. This helps to unify the painting in both color and temperature. Third, I use a pretty thin mix, using the paint with OMS, so that it remains transparent and that helps to wet the surface enough for the top coats to glide more easily. Fourth, when you see transparent and opaque color next to each other, there is a sort of visual 'zing' and depth that occurs. Click the titles below to view the full paintings and you'll see the overall effects. Tomorrow I hope to have a demo ready, using a yellow underpainting.
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martinealison said...

Il est toujours bon de savoir comment chacun ou chacune procède...
Merci pour toutes ces informations.
Gros bisous

Allaprima Portland said...

I'll be looking forward to seeing a photo progression of your underpainting. These are all great paintings!