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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Once is Not Enough! Revisiting the Watercolor Underpainting

'Dreaming in Pink'                 8x10                 pastel                   ©Karen Margulis
available on Etsy $195

 It was about time for some underpainting fun! I used to begin most of my pastel paintings with some kind of wet underpainting. I loved doing alcohol washes, watercolor and oil underpaintings. I still do but lately I have bypassed the wet underpainting to a more direct technique with no underpainting at all or a value block in with pastel. 

I decided it was time to revisit the wet underpainting with this lotus painting. What a fun change of pace!  I was reminded at the importance of practice. Any new (or rarely used) technique will feel strange at first. It isn't always easy to get the desired results.
Once is not enough!

Sometimes it is good to practice just the underpainting technique....not to even worry about the pastel application. Do underpainting after underpainting until it feels comfortable. The more you do the more you learn about what works and what doesn't. In this underpainting I was impatient and didn't allow the darker passages to dry . You can see where the washes diluted the darks leaving me with a washed out underpainting. 

I will be working with watercolor underpaintings some more since next month's Paint Along on our Patreon Page will start with a watercolor underpainting!

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