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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Paper and an Unexpected Technique!

'Summer Gold'           5 x 9.5            pastel               ©Karen Margulis
painting available on Etsy $75
I examined the new piece of paper with excitement. Too bad it was only a small piece. There were so many things I wanted to try. That would have to wait until more paper was available. This little piece was just a tease! So I decided to cut the piece in half so that I could at least try two techniques.

In yesterday's blog post I shared my first painting done on the new Uart black paper.  I was asked to test the paper to see how it handled. One of the requests was to try a wet underpainting.

my samples of black Uart paper

A wet underpainting on black paper? I scratched my head. I normally wouldn't do a wet underpainting on black paper. I never thought it was necessary. I always thought I wanted the black tone of the paper to be visible and to allow my colors to pop against the contrast.

But then again, why not do a wet underpainting? What might happen? I might even like it!

The block in with hard pastels
For my subject I selected one of the mini pastels that I had painted in France as inspiration.  I blocked in the underpainting using harder pastels. I decided to use local colors for the block in. I considered that the black paper was already my base layer (the dirt). The darks were already there. I now wanted to establish the middle and lighter tones.

I used rubbing alcohol and a brush to wash in the pastel. I used the alcohol quite freely. My goal was to see how much abuse the paper could take. It took everything I gave it! I had only taped the four corners to my board and yet the paper didn't buckle or wave. It stayed flat and dried flat. I was pleased!

The alcohol wash underpainting
 Once again the paper performed just like regular Uart. I was able to use my usual number of layers even over the underpainting. I was surprised to discover that I enjoyed the structure that the underpainting gave me. The dark paper was still there but I now had a plan for the lighter parts of the scene. I will definitely try more underpaintings on black paper and I look forward to using the black Uart paper.

my mini 2.5 x 3.5 pastel


robertsloan2art said...

Oh this is beautiful!

I love black paper. Often when I work on black paper I'll do a white underpainting so the lightest lights are very strong, the mid tones a little brighter and the darks richly carried by the black. The thought of black Uart is a joy. I love Uart anyway, my favorite is the 500 but I like all the grits each in its own way.

Nancy L. Vance said...

I'm a big fan of black paper too. Can't wait to get some!