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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Why a Tie-Dye Underpainting is Cool

'The Beauty of Sparseness'          8x10        pastel         ©Karen Margulis
available $145
 I didn't intend to make a psychedelic underpainting. It was one of those fun happy accidents. But I embraced it's coolness and made it work for me. Now you can be sure I will be trying to recreate the tie-dye effect in future underpaintings. Here is why and how I did it.

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I was sharing unusual underpainitng techniques with a student last week. We tried the Caran d'Ache Neocolor II crayons and my favorite fun medium.....Art Graf pigment squares. I've reviewed them on my blog here. They always surprise me. Their intensity explodes with a little water or alcohol. Only a tiny bit is needed to get bold intense color. They dry just as intense!

For my demo I wanted to show how the primary color Art Graf squares could be used to create more colors. I made purples and green and orange. I had it all and when I wet the pigment they mixed and mingled and went tie dye on me!

The underpainting looks like tie dye!
I wasn't sure what I would do with it but then I realized it was a great start for a subtle quiet painting.
  • I am reminded that it is easier to tone down and lighten a passage than it is to make it bolder or more intense. 
  • It is good to have a little boldness in a mostly quiet painting. These tiny bits of dark and intense color is a good balance for a mostly gray painting.
I had a quiet marsh painting in mind so the tie dye underpainting would provide just enough variety. Cool!

close up detail
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Ricardo García said...

I usually use Artgraf's Tailor Shapes in my underpaintings one at a time so I don't mix the colors of the different areas of my initial sketch and lose my composition.
I use the pack with 6 earth colors, more discreet and natural for my landscapes.
I have to lose the fear and try to wet them all at once like you!
Thanks, Karen!!

Linda Kriegel said...

Karen! This turned out so cool!! Thanks!

robertsloan2art said...

Those look fun. I didn't know they came in saturated colors. Thought they were just the earth tones.