|'The Promise of a Beautiful Day' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
An underpainting technique that I love for beaches and snow scenes is a value underpainting with an alcohol or turpenoid wash. It really works well for any landscape in which there is a strong contrast of darks and lights...or where you really want to get a nice feeling of light. What you are doing is a value study on your paper with a hard pastel and brushing it in with water,alcohol or turpenoid.
|Value Underpainting with an Alcohol Wash|
|Supplies for an Alcohol Wash|
How to do a Value Underpainting
- You need to work on sanded paper that can take a wet wash, rubbing alcohol, a stiff cheap bristle brush and a dark hard pastelsuch as a Nupastel. I like a dark blue-purple.
- Design your painting and do a quick value sketch.
- Block in the big simple shapes and assign each a value. Concentrate on using dark, middle, light and the white of your paper.Keep it simple! Vary the pressure of the pastel to get the right value.
- Make sure your values shapes are not spotty...connect shapes when you can.
- Using the alcohol paint the shapes starting with the lightest. Try to keep brush clean so that you don't end up with a big dark blob.
- Tip: take your time and really paint with your brush. Try to describe the object you are painting.Don't rush this part...paint with sensitivity.
- Let the underpainting dry before adding pastel.