|'Sunflowers 2' 5x7 pastel (complementary underpainting) ©Karen Margulis|
It's like choosing the right wine. Some wines go better with a dish than others. How do you know? How do you decide? You can take someone else's advice but then you are taking a chance. Wouldn't it be better if you just knew...if you had experience with the wine and the dish you would be able to make an informed decision. Knowing what something tastes like is the key. And that is the secret to underpaintings. Really!
The more underpaintings you do and the more color combinations and paper colors you try...the more intuitive your choices will be. Are you ready to be an Underpainting Connoisseur?
You have to be motivated and willing to put in some time at the easel. You have to be ready to try new techniques and try different colors. One of the very best exercises I ever did to expand my understanding of the possibilities of underpaintings is Richard McKinley's Underpainting Exercise. You can find it in his book 'Pastel Pointers' or on his blog here. I highly recommend doing this exercise.
I just did it for the second time along with my class of hard working artists. We chose simple subjects and painted small (5x7) After four hours we had finished 8 paintings based on the exercise. We did 4 wet underpaintings and chose 4 different paper colors. We used the same color palette for all of the paintings. (see my results below)
At the end of the session we discussed which underpainting/color choice we liked best. The answer was surprising! I will share the answer with you tomorrow. Which version do you like best? Answer in the comments or on my facebook page.
|value sensitive underpainting with alcohol wash|
|oil stain underpainting|
|watercolor underpainting with warm and cool|
|cool tone paper|
|warm tone paper|