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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Trying a HOT Underpainting...The Fun Continues

'A Beautiful Tangle'          8x10        pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available on Etsy $165
I am officially hooked. It doesn't take much to get me excited and these little Caran d'Ache crayons have done the trick. I am having so much fun creating underpaintings with them and thanks to your suggestions I am branching out and exploring even more!

My friend and wonderful artist Robert Sloan commented on yesterday's post and I am sharing what he said because he has some great ideas for using the Caran d'Aches Neocolor II crayons.

"I love these crayons. I have a large set of them and a 15 color pocket kit, they work well wet or dry. One thing I found delightful with them is that the colors are generally opaque, which makes them very different from using transparent watercolors for underpainting or sketching. This makes it possible to block in value areas on pastel paper with light or bright colors over black, so the entire painting can really pop! Many wet underpainting techniques don't work as well on dark colors because of transparency, but these rule for it.
I liked doing paintings on black with white or light accents, high tone difference with rich blacks and darks. For underpainting the light areas with white, a white Neocolor II is perfect. They can also go on by brush just using them like a watercolor pan, same as using gouache."

So here is what was next on the easel. I decided to go hot and bold!

My HOT underpainitng using the Neocolor II crayons
I took out another piece of UArt 400 grit paper for my next experiment. My reference photo was a closeup of a summer prairie garden. It was filled with a tangle of green with a few flowers. It was primarily a cool scene with all of the green. I wanted to add some excitement and infuse the scene with warm sunlight. I decided to go warm and bold with the underpainting.

I only have a limited selection of Neocolors (I need to remedy this) so I used orange and yellow for the background and the local colors of red violet and blue violet for the flowers. I used a wet wash with water to liquify the color. It remained bold and vibrant. I took out the purple crayon and scribbled  on the flowers right on the wet paper. You can see the scribble marks in the photo above.

The first few layers before creating more clarity in the flowers
 Once the underpainting was dry I was ready to add pastel. I wanted to be sure to let some of the HOT underpainting colors to peek through my tangle of green. I'm happy to say that I used restraint and succeeded. It was then just a matter of building the flowers and adding clarity and detail. What a fun way to start a painting!

Caran d'Ache Neocolor II in use
I am going to TRY to do a new video demonstrating the Neocolor II underpainting on Sunday around noon. I'll post it when I am finished.



Very beautiful flower painting !!!

robertsloan2art said...

Wow! Thanks for using my comment! Looking forward to your video. The underpainting was very good, almost a painting in its own right and so lively. You've got me all revved up too now.