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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pastel Class Week 1 ....Underpainting with Oils

'On A Grey Day'          16x20           pastel         ©Karen Margulis SOLD

It's back to class time!  This week I started teaching my six week course at the Art School in Sandy Springs as well as my classes in my studio.  I am excited to get back to a regular schedule after a busy holiday season. I had a great time this morning and I know I am going to enjoy my new group of students!  They did great today!  I invite you to follow along with the class.  Each week I will report on what we did in class and share some of the tips I have covered.  I hope you will enjoy and perhaps be inspired to try some of the techniques we will be working on.  

This week we visit the underpainting and try an Oil Stain Underpainting.

a sample oil stain underpainting on Uart pastel paper
In this morning's class all but one student were beginners to pastel.  My focus for the class was to be mixed media with pastels and I decided to stick with the plan.  Even though some of the techniques might be considered advanced they are all fun and freeing which I think will be just the thing to allow everyone to relax and have fun with pastel.

I began class with a talk about pastels and papers and then moved on to a discussion of the underpainting. I then explained the oil stain process and started my demo.  While my underpainting dried everyone worked on their underpainting.  I then finished mine by adding the pastel.  The top photo is my finished demo. By then all the underpaintings were dry and everyone finished. I was so impressed with the results. I wish we had more time for a show and tell session. We'll do that next week!

If you would like to try an underpainting with oils you might like to read a post I did on the  process CLICK HERE  Below are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a sanded paper or a surface that can take a wet wash. I prefer Uart paper.
  • You need to use a stiff inexpensive bristle brush. I like to use a large one. Sanded paper is hard on brushes!
  • You need to use oderless mineral spirits such as Turpenoid or Gamsol.
  • You need a few tubes of oil paint. You don't need a lot of colors. I use Alizarin Crimson, Cad Yellow Med and Ultramarine Blue. I don't use white or black. I mix a good variety of colors with just the 3 primaries.
  • It takes practice to get the right consistency of paint...too thick and the tooth of the paper gets filled. Too soupy and you get a washed out underpainting with no good drips. Play around to get the feel it.
  • Strive to let the dried underpainting suggest a direction for the painting. I try hard not to cover up all of the underpainting.  I like the dribs to work for me.

1 comment:

Calvin Tromp said...

Thanks Karen, you are very generous with sharing your techniques. I will definitely give this a try.