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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Trying a Wet Underpainting on Uart Dark

'Autumn Mosaic'         9x12       pastel on Uart Dark       ©Karen Margulis
available $165
 There is something very satisfying about wet underpaintings. Holding a brush and watching pastel melt and drip or moving wet paint around the surface is also very liberating. Even if I end up covering the underpainting with pastel, the act of creating the underpainting feels great.

I probably do some kind of wet underpainting for half of my paintings. I love all types of wet underpaintings from simple alcohol washes to experimenting with unexpected media such as oil paint or oil pastel crayons. I love using Uart paper because I have good results with these wet underpaintings. So I was anxious to try a wet underpainting on the new Uart Dark. I am happy to report that it passed all of my tests with flying colors!

Putting Uart Dark to the wet underpainting test
For the test I used an unmounted piece of Uart Dark 500 grade. I used both water and alcohol and a variety of media. My main concern was how the paper would hold up. My results:
  • The unmounted paper was taped on four corners to a piece of foam core board. It did not buckle or wave or wrinkle when wet with both water and alcohol. The liquid did not seep through to the back of the paper. 
  • The sanded surface retained the grit. The water and alcohol did not make the paper gummy or remove the grit.
In my tests the Uart Dark performed the same as regular Uart sand color. 

Blocking in color with Caran d'Ache Neocolors II crayons
 Continuing my experiment I used a piece of Uart Dark 500 grade and did a wet underpainting using Caran d'Ache Neocolor II crayons and water. I liked how the Neocolors stayed vibrant in my test. They didn't disappoint me. The allowed me to block in the big shapes of my composition and set up the color. The underpainting provided me with a roadmap. The Uart Dark performed flawlessly.

In the end I covered up much of the underpainting with pastel. There is nothing wrong with that! Even though it is desirable to let underpaintings show or peek through it isn't the end of the world if it gets covered. The underpainting was an was a set up and allowed me to start the painting without fear and hesitation!

Wet with water

Blocking in the darks once underpainting has dried

Painting the sky and all of the dull colors....brighter colors to come!
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