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Monday, August 18, 2014

The Difference an Underpainting can Make

'Once Upon a Summer'          8x10          pastel          ©Karen Margulis
This painting is on gray Pastelmat with a Nupastel and alcohol wash underpainting
available on etsy $100
 Pictures are worth a thousand words. Click on today's paintings to have a closer look.  They are 8x10 demo paintings I did for a private class. The objective was to share two different approaches to starting a pastel painting. I wanted to show my student a very basic and simple approach using Canson paper and Nupastels. This is the way I learned. (Thanks Marsha Savage!)

I also wanted to share one of my favorite techniques for starting a painting...doing an alcohol wash. To keep it simple and compare and contrast the two techniques I painted both demos side by side using the same reference and palette of pastels.

The results speak volumes for the effect an underpainting technique and/or paper color can have on the look of the painting. Which version do you prefer?

'Summer Story'           8x10            pastel          ©Karen Margulis
This painting is on Canson Mi-Teintes burgundy paper with a Nupastel dry underpainting
available on etsy $100

Painting on left is on gray Pastelmat and painting  on right is on burgundy Canson

palette of pastels used for both paintings...Nupastels, Terry Ludwigs, UPS (unidentified pastel sticks)
What is your favorite underpainting technique? Do you vary the way you start each pastel painting?


Joke Klootwijk said...

Thanks for sharing your toughts en ideas. I prefer the one with no underpainting. That is for me how a pastel painting have to look. Nice Job!

Sandi G said...

I like them both , they each have a different look . I like to use an alcohol wash with compliments , using pinks and corals under sky and water , purples and reds under greens . I have a pack of white colorfix that I am trying that screams underpainting. I am really liking uart, trying different grades . Can you say what different grades you like and what grade would be better for a certain type of painting ? I like the rougher grades but the smoother might work for a softer look . Thanks again for all of the information you give . Sandi

Karen said...

Thanks for your comments! Sandi I will be doing a post and YouTube on Uart where I share info zbout the various grades!

Susan J Wachob said...

Well, gee Karen I like them both for different reasons. I am drawn to the top one because of the inviting composition, the colors...of course. But the second one has a soft edge to it in the middle ground to the rt the green intrigues me for some reason. But it a wonderfully inspired idea because there really is such difference in the paper and the tools used. But, naturally they are both just good to stare at....more places you want to walk into :-). Sue

chris a said...

I really like your demonstration of the two beginnings and their results. thanks for your great blog!