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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Painting Reflections with a Turpenoid Wash

'A Moment of Tranquility'         8x10       pastel       ©Karen Margulis
One of the best ways to loosen up your paintings is to use a wet underpainting.  Once you wet the pastel or use a wet media you are no longer in complete control.  Colors mix and mingle. Wet pastel or paint drip. Happy accidents can occur. And you are left not with plain blank paper (which can be intimidating) but an exciting mix of colors and shapes that you could never have planned exactly.

When I am in the mood to be surprised I will choose a wet underpainting. Also certain subjects like marsh grasses and water lend themselves to a wet underpainting. It gives you a head start!

You have many choices for a wet underpainting from using wet media to simply wetting down your pastel layer. One of my favorite and easy techniques is a Turpenoid Wash Underpainting.  Sure you can use water or rubbing alcohol but there is something really cool about the way the turpenoid washes dry that makes them my favorite.

Have you tried doing a wash with turpenoid or other OMS (odorless mineral spirits)?  If you'd like to give it a try have a look at my digital demo download of a terpenoid wash underpainting. This one is a full demo of the painting in this post from the turpenoid wash through the various steps in building the painting. This demo has 19 pages and  33 color photos.  The demo is in PDF format and can be read on your computer or printed and stapled into a booklet. It is available in my Etsy shop for $6. Click here to see more.

Here is a preview page from the demo:

close up of the drips and spider webs of the turpenoid wash

  • Look at the photo above for an example of drips and webs. After the painting is wet down you can go back and dab on some more turpenoid in areas you want to drip....just not too much at once!)
  • Wet the pastel with the brush as if you were painting with the brush. You are making liquid paint so take advantage of this. Move the pastel around and try to describe the object with your brushstrokes. Don’t just brush straight across or up and down...PAINT!
  • Take your time! Enjoy this process. Slow down and watch what happens as the turpenoid liquifies the pastel. You are working towards creating and interesting underpainting to respond to with pastels. Don’t rush through it!  The more time you spend developing this underpainting the more interesting it will be!

In this demo I talk about supplies, my techniques for doing the turpenoid wash, the steps I take in developing the painting, how I paint the sky, painting reflections in the water, how I preserve parts of the underpainting as I paint and more! I also provide my reference photo should you wish to follow along and paint your own version.

If you would like to try a turpenoid wash underpainting or just work on your technique consider my digital download!

'Late Afternoon Reflections'    pastel    8x10    click here to purchase $145

'Across the Creek'        9x12       pastel     9x12     click here to purchase $155

Available demos:
How to Paint an Animal in Pastel
Painting a Very Green Landscape
Underpaintings for Pastels: Turpenoid Wash Underpainting

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

Really love your painting "Across the Creek". I had never tried wet underpaintings until last week at IAPS. I was pleasantly surprised by how much work a great underpaintings can do, really helps to reduce the amount of pastel applied. I'll have to try out this ,ethos too in due course.