Wednesday, May 19, 2010

reasons for using an underpainting

10x10 watercolor and pastel on twinrocker watercolor paper
As many people know I am back to using a watercolor underpainting. Why? It's transparent. I love the luminosity that watercolor creates. The beautiful accidents that I can use or cover. It seems foolish to have left this method.
The reasons for doing an underpainting, whether pastel, oil or watercolor, are numerous. First, I get to establish all my masses. Second, I make the skeleton on which the pastel will lie.  The skeleton, what's underneath is very important. Third, I can create a tension between warm and cool quickly. Fourth, I can see my composition without making commitment. Changes are easy. And fifth,  I set up the value relationships.
PS It has been days of rain...very unusual for here. This painting was done in the dry, warm car.

13 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

Good list, Loriann.

I aim for harmony or more often compliments. Also (a mundane reason) if I want to fill all the tooth by the end.

Enjoy the rain - you'll be too hot soon enough!

SamArtDog said...

Very atmospheric! Seems so appropriate to use watercolor. Exciting cloud weather here, too, as long as the tornadoes drop down out east of here.

Donna T said...

That sure looks like our atmosphere today ... they say we'll get to see the sun tomorrow! Remember what it looks like?! I would be lost without some kind of underpainting, especially on a white surface.

Double "D" said...

Hi B!!!!!!!!!!!

Nice piece, glad to see you back with your friend ...
watercolor. You know I like that. I meant to comment on the painting from yesterday ... it's spectacular!

I really like the way the gray sky really sets the mood and atmosphere for the rain landscape.

It was 70 and blue sky sunny here today. We've had enough rain and gray skies to last for at least a month. Hope it doesn't stick around your area too long ... I know car painting isn't much fun.

Take care B,
PB

loriann said...

Hi Casey, Do you underpaint in the compliment of the color you will use?
You are right about the heat. Spring we yo-yo. hot -cold all the way till the second week in June then the curtain of heat sets in completely.

Hi Sam, You are right it is only appropriate to use a water media to capture the rainy day.

Hi Donna,
An underpainting does help. It makes something with which to relate. What kind of underpainting do you do?
Tomorrow the heat will turn on for a little while.Nice.

Nika said...

Great little painting,I can almost feel the humidity and the wind. I also underpaint with watercolor for large pastels and usually do a contrasting color underneath of the same or lighter value as I plan to put on top. I've been away for a while so I didn't have a chance to congratulate you on your show opening. The paintings look tremendous.
I hope to see them in person Friday as I'm leaving for DC early tomorrow morning. Also, can't wait for WK lecture, thanks for the heads up on that! I guess I'll see you there, yay.

NJ ART 73 said...

Hi Loriann,
What a beautiful painting- having a Turner like quality.I like the way you handle the neutrals-some beautiful gradations of color. Your past few posts have shown this sensitivity towards color going towards to a higher level each time. I am was glad that your exhibition worked on all levels for you.You are on your way. It is good to see you working -far too many artists get the post show blues. Regarding underpaintings. I think that a watercolor underpainting is better for soft pastels and probably oil pastels. The underpainting serves as an armature for what is to come. Oils are great but they stay wet for a while -so out in the field watercolor is the obvious choice. Acrylics-which are my main medium are fine but with watercolor there is less to carry. I guess it depends on whether you want to paint a watercolor highlighted by pastels or pastels being the dominate medium. Albert Handell paints some absolutely beautiful pastels with watercolor as the underpainting. Richard McKinley has several DVDs from North Light Book Shop which demonstrate underpaintings and such. I am sure that you are aware of them. Again congratualations on your success!

Jala Pfaff said...

Love the Turneresque sky here! as well as the colors of the foliage et al.

Caroline said...

The colour harmony is so lovely in your beautiful painting Loriann. You have captured the atmosphere of the rainy day yet the greens and blue remain colourful though muted.

loriann said...

Hi PB, Yup, I am back (watercolor that is) Why did I ever leave? what was i thinking? I guess it's just my passion for exploring and questioning. And yes we have you weather today 80 and sunny! YES! Thanks about the other painting. Good to hear from you!!!!! -b

loriann said...

Hi Nika!!! You will be here!!!!!! WOW! How long will you be here? We should get together if possible. And yes I will be at the WK lecture. How will I know you?
When you are here go check out the Freer gallery, a much overlooked gallery. WHistler, Dewing and Tryons abound!
I will be away painting Saturday and Sunday. Let's see if we can get together sometime. cheers! Loriann

loriann said...

Hi NJ, Thank you for all your kind words.
I was fortunate to learn watercolor underpainting from the master Richard McKinley. I go to La Conner once a year just to hear his wisdom.
I must admit, I am so jazzed after finishing an opening. Finally no more fussing and working on the exhibition...just pure painting. The best! Also after seeing my show I am full of ideas and knowing which way to go. There's simply not enough time. I wish I could just paint...forget all that other stuff that gets in the way like eating, or teaching, or sleeping....just paint. Thanks for the congrats and it's always good to hear from you!

Hi Jala, It's quite a compliment that you and NJ say my name in the same sentence as Turner, the master. Thanks.

Thanks Caroline!!!!

Nika said...
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