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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Why Choose a Blue Underpainting for Bluebonnets?

'The Lone Star'           9x12           pastel          ©Karen Margulis
available $155
Underpainting choices can be confusing.  Do we always want the complementary color underneath? Not always. Using the compliment is a good solid choice. It provides the added excitement of the complement where it peeks through the painting layers. But it isn't the only choice we have. Today I need to decide on a color to block in my bluebonnet painting. I knew I wanted to do a value block in as a dry wash. I evaluated my choices.

  • I could choose the complement red of the dominant color of green...so a red undepainting.
  • I could choose complements of each shape....so orange under the blue areas and red under the green areas.
  • I could set up the painting for aerial perspective and choose lighter and cooler colors for the distant shapes.
  • I could choose a color hat would give me a head start on the flowers....so blue would be my choice.
I decided on the last option of BLUE. Have a look at the underpainting. Used a piece of pipe insulation foam to rub in this first layer. I am working on Wallis warm mist seconds.



Why Did I choose blue?
Because I knew I wanted to create the feeling of masses of bluebonnets going into the distance. I didn't want to paint every single bloom. I wanted to SUGGEST the masses of flowers and only show a few in detail. I knew that if I used a blue underpainting I would be able to allow bits of the blue to show through the final layers. Where this blue color shows it will give the illusion of more flowers hidden in the grass. Blue became a shortcut to creating an illusion!

1 comment:

Teri said...

Beautiful blues Karen! Our daughter lives in Austin and we need to get there to see the Bluebonnets! Love the painting.