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Friday, September 14, 2018

Stopping at the Underpainting

'Beneath it All'             6x8            pastel         ©Karen Margulis
available $150
I had a little underpainting party the other day. Just me. I turned up the music and just made underpaintings with some leftover oil paint. I didn't have a plan for any of the underpaintings. For a couple of them I had some ideas from my imagination....lavender fields, aspen trees... for others I just painted shapes and colors. When I ran out of paint I was still on a roll. I didn't want to stop!

I had another idea. What if I used the rest of my Gamsol to wet down some old unfinished pastel paintings? I pulled out a couple of 6x8 pieces of Uart that I had used for some quick flower demos. I used my brush and the Gamsol and wet down the pastel letting it drip.

You can see the underpaintings in the photo below. Look at the board on the right....these are the 6x8 OMS (odorless mineral spirits) wash underpaintings. I was intrigued by the results of the OMS wash.

A collection of oil stain underpaintings waiting for pastel
In fact I was so intrigued that I wasn't sure I wanted to cover it up with pastel! Every once in awhile you get an underpainting that stands on its own as an interesting painting.....usually an abstract but still it works as a finished painting. I am usually very quick to add the pastel to my underpaintings. Even if I have an interesting abstract U/P I never leave them alone.

This time I decided to leave this underpainting alone. I didn't want to rush into adding pastel so I set it aside for a couple of days . When I pulled it out again i gave myself permission to leave it as an abstract. To make it an 'official' pastel I needed to use 80% dry pastel. I did this by adding a light layer of pastel matching exactly the color and value of the colors of the underpaintings. The painting at the top of the page is the result.

Have you ever stopped at the underpainting? Were ever you tempted to leave an underpainitng alone?

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