Wednesday, August 11, 2010

more underpainting wisdom from richard

8x10 pastel and watercolor on Uart
Richard wisdom:

"When you paint, drift vertically. Allow your watercolor to appear more ghost-like, edges disappear.
sfumato-as if through smoke, to evaporate through smoke. Leonardo da Vinci was the master of it.
Simply put-gradual transitions between colors and values, no hard edges. smoke.

Don't over fragment on underpainting
A stroke on half-dried edges makes for softer edges. "

This was yesterday's painting. I was thinking about Richard's words as I drove to my old friend the river. It was hot, about 97 and climbing higher as I worked The chill of Washington State can no longer be felt. I moved to the deep shade, as you can tell by the painting. The Potomac had its usual warm muddy thickness.  The cicadas sang their lively songs.
My goal was to merge the paint vertically and to allow the more hazy - heat be part of the painting. I think I let the painting get a little too dark and it's always better to go lighter rather than darker. If you want the feeling of light. I also think that the underpainting had sfumato, but I lost it in the pastel....I guess I will just keep working. ;-)

For more excellent information read Richard's Pastel Pointer's blog post about sfumato.


Caroline said...

It is so interesting to see the under painting and the process of building up the finished painting. I can see how the light manages to just shine through. Thank you for sharing.

loriann said...

Hi Caroline! I too like seeing another artists's process. Thanks!

Leah said...


Donna T said...

Thanks for the thoughts on underpainting, Loriann. I understand the part about soft edges but had never heard about drifting vertically. Something new for me to think about ... I think you painted the water beautifully!

SamArtDog said...

I think this is as dark as the shade you crave in the heat. Makes all kinds of sense to me. Besides, the darks make the lights lighter. I like this nice cool feeling.

Astrid Volquardsen said...

Wow, what a beauty this is. I don't care if it's too dark or not (even though I know excactly what you mean, because sometimes I have the same tendency). It works and it turned out to be one of those pictures that catches the eye.

One Step Away said...

Like the pastel. Was also at the river - Virginia side. Posted the painting with a note about the cicadas. The Potomac is beautiful this time of year.

loriann said...

Hi Leah and thanks for your supportive comments!

Hi Donna, Drifting vertically, makes sense if you really think about it...don't you think? Thanks about the water!

Hi Sam! You are right darks do make lights lighter..i just wish i had held back a little more. Thank you anyway, i appreciate your comment!

Thank you Astrid!

Hi Steve, Wasn't the music just magic? I really did miss it when i was away. It was so quiet in Washington. I missed the song.
i'll go check out your site. cheers!

Double "D" said...

Wow, so much to remember!
Gorgeous underpaintings from yesterday and today.
I think I'll just stay retired and watch your fabulous journey.

loriann said...

PB, remember? you know all that already! I will be looking for your next painting;-)

Jala Pfaff said...

Wow, beautiful.
For some reason the finished work reminds me of Miami, where I was a little kid. Sort of swampy, moss on trees kind of feel.

loriann said...

Thanks Jala! It sure did feel like Miami.