|'Serenity Found' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
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Does this painting look vaguely familiar? If you scroll down to the previous post you'll see another version of this same scene. I decided to try it again with another underpainting approach. And the strangest thing happened. I painted differently. I was bolder and more free. I used the exact same colors but the two paintings look different. I didn't know what was happening but then it dawned on me. It was the underpainting!
Yesterday I did a very soft and dreamy watercolor underpainting. The colors were mostly cool. I took my time and and let the paint layers dry. I was slow and deliberate. When I applied pastel I used a light feathery touch. I was gentle. The resulting painting was soft and dreamy. (scroll down to see the result)
|Underpainting for today's version|
This time I did a very bold underpainting with dark charcoal lines and bright intense warm colors. I used hard pastels rubbed in with pipe insulation. I pressed down hard in this underpainting and put down the colors with a lot of energy. The hard black charcoal lines left no room for softness.
And when I began the painting with my pastels I brought the same energy with me. My strokes were bolder and I was pushing the pastel in hard. I used broader more angular strokes. I had a totally different state of mind as I painted this one.
And it wasn't until I put the paintings side by side and analyzed them did I understand what had happened. It was the underpainting technique that influenced my energy and approach to the painting process. I always tell my students that the COLORS in the underpainting or the COLOR of the paper have an impact on the painting but I wasn't aware of how much the TYPE of underpainting technique used influences how we approach the painting and guides the decisions we make.
From now on I will keep this in mind when I am planning a painting. It will be one of the questions I ask myself....and I will choose my underpainting technique to best express my vision.
|side by side comparison of underpaintings next to the finished painting|
To read about the watercolor underpainting version visit yesterday's post HERE