|'A Light in the Darkness' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
You know me. I don't like to waste good pastel paper. So when I used a piece of Art paper to demonstrate an exercise for the Patreon group I knew I would repurpose it somehow. I had made some marks with a blue pastel so the first thing I did was to add other blue marks.....some dull blue and some turquoise on top of the darker blue marks. Just random blue marks. Then I used my old cheap paint brush and some rubbing alcohol and liquified the pastel marks. I let it drip and mingle.
The result was the blue abstract underpainting shown in the photo below. I had to decide what to do with it. The blue reminded me of ice. It made me cold so I thought 'snow'! I went through my winter reference photos and found the perfect scene. A sun setting in the distance of a very cold winter scene. The blue underpainting was perfect. WHY?
|The blue underpainting was an alcohol wash over some demo marks|
Underpainting color choices matter! Especially if you have a light touch and allow layers to peek through. I like my underpainting colors to peek through my final layers. Because of this the colors I choose need to harmonize with the upper layers. I can choose more than one color for the underpainting but sometimes it is easy to choose just one color family. In the case of this painting I knew I wanted a feeling and mood of cold. Using the cool color of blue will help promote the cool feeling the scene. I also know that my reference has a small area of orange. Since blue is the complement of orange I know that the blue in the underpainting will make the orange glow more exciting.
|The first dark layer of the painting. You can see the underpainting peeking through.|
|The pastels I used for the painting|