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Monday, October 02, 2017

Try Some Unexpected Underpainting Colors


'River of Peace'           18x24         pastel           ©Karen Margulis

I was hoping to get to the easel today but last minute packing took over! So I am sharing a good post from the archives. I have scheduled posts for the time I will be away and I hope to do some posts from my trip if technology cooperates! 

I don't know why I haven't used this color before now. It is one of my favorite colors but I have never used it for an underpainting. But when I was planning my demo painting for my workshop yesterday a bright blue variation of turquoise caught my eye. I pulled four values of the color for my simple block-in. It would work for my lesson. 

Color will work if the values are right.

I was curious to see what would happen with a turquoise underpainting. I blocked in my big shapes with the four sticks. Dark trees, light sky and water and the two middle values for the ground and distant trees. I didn't get a photo of the block-in since this was a workshop demo but it was pretty! It was my favorite color after all.

The colors I used for the underpainting
The finished painting was actually quite true to the mood and feeling of the reference photo. The warm blues peeking through my foliage and grasses added just the right amount of coolness without being cold!

 It had been a cool and overcast morning on the grounds of Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey in New Mexico. We were taking an afternoon walk on the grounds in preparation for the week's painting retreat. We walked along the river's edge listening to the music of the water over distant rocks.....  I am left with such inspiring memories and photos and can't wait to go back in October!                  

close-up photo
 Unexpected colors maybe... but a fun result. Imagine what other underpainting colors could do to transform this scene. I think I'll try some warm colors next....but they will be unexpected. This is what painting is all about. Fun!

The painting at the end of the demo. I spent another 30 minutes once home in the studio
PAINTING NOTE:  This painting is on Canson Mi-Teinte gray paper. In my last two blog posts I gave suggestions for getting started with pastels. I suggested using good paper. Many pastelists prefer sanded paper. I like it too but I love Canson. The trick is to use good pastels and have a LIGHT TOUCH. It is easier to build more layers when the pastel is applied with a whisper.

5 comments:

ART-TRAVELLER said...

Very wonderful landscape painting with so beautiful colours !!!

Linda Kriegel said...

Beautiful! I LOVE the turquoise! Of course! I will most definitely try this. Karen I did get a set of Neocolor ll (yay) and it came with a bonus of 5 neon crayons. That will be interesting!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Karen !! I love the idea of a turquoise underpainting. I'm just finished my fall painting inspired by your Autumn demo . I used your instructions and techniques but my own photo from the Adirondacks that I took this summer . However, I am still trying to figure out how to post to the PATREON page. ;-) I can't find the community site. ;-( I find your blog so much easier to navigate compared to Patron page. I'll keep looking. Have a great trip out west !! Warm regards, Janet D. of New Bern, NC.

PS You can find me as Swirl416 on instagram. I posted my painting there.

Karen said...

Thanks for commenting!! I am still finding my way around Patreon. The community page should be a tab at the top of the page next to the post tab. It may not be as easy to navigate but it is much easier for me to post content so I hope you'll stick with me!!

robertsloan2art said...

I love how this one came out. I'd never have thought of turquoise for underpainting but it's magnificent, it's wonderful. What I'm used to if it's monochrome is burnt sienna or perhaps violet - violet underpaintings worked well for me because it'd peek through the greens and oranges enriching the whole painting. But the turquoise unites the rest with the water and sky in a gorgeous way. Even your signature is a nice little detail in just the right place!