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Monday, October 24, 2016

An Amazing Underpainting Technique

'Autumn Evening'         9x12         pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $155
I cannot resist an art store. So when my friend and I found ourselves in Santa Fe last week with some extra time to spare we made a stop at Artisans, an art store in Sante Fe New Mexico. We didn't really need anything but you never know what treasure you might find.

And I found a wonderful treasure! My favorite Art Graf squares in primary colors! You may have read about or tired these Art Graf pigment blocks. I have used the earth toned squares for underpainting and I loved the results. They are a strange thing....they feel waxy almost like a crayon but when applied to paper and wet with water or alcohol they EXPLODE with rich color.
It takes very little application to get a rich and dark resulting tone. They are fantastic for toning paper or for underpainting for pastels.


Art Graf squares in primary colors for wonderful possibilities

I had to buy this set of primary colors! I was excited for the possibilities since it is easy to layer and mix the pigment of the squares. I tried the squares for my aspen demo at my workshop  and I was thrilled with the rich results. (see Friday's post here)
One evening at the workshop we had a paper toning party and all of the artists had fun using the Art Graf to tone paper and create underpaintings. We are now all fans! You can find the Art Graf squares on Amazon and I have also seen them online at Cheap Joes. Below you can see how I used the primary color squares for today's painting.


I applied the Art Graf lightly by coloring on my sanded paper (Pastel Premier white)

After wetting the pigment with water and a brush.

Starting to add pastel over the underpainting

The finished painting
Thank you to all of you who commented with their guesses for Friday's painting. Great ideas for underpainting. I love all of the possibilities and I look forward to exploring these Art Graf squares!

2 comments:

sillysouthernsis said...

This is really an amazing technique for underpainting...after the liquid was added, I was almost tempted to say "stop there"...thank you so much for your wonderful blogs...they are lessons in themselves!

Adriana Guidi said...

Great article and I've used the Creatacolor pencils for underpaintings. They're fun!