Tuesday, May 3, 2011

method of underpaintings

1. one color grisaille
2.one color underpainting
3.two color oil underpainting

4.watercolor full color underpainting

5. watercolor full color underpainting

You wonder, how does an underpainting effect the outcome of a painting? First of all the underpainting is the diving board that every other decision jumps off of.  Whether its the calm one color grisaille or the electric magenta and yellow block-in, the underpainting  informs you for each following decision.
 The one color grisaille(numbers 1 and 2)  is a method where you place all your information down first. Gradually you move away deciding which pieces of information needs to be there and which to throw out. In this method, you are not reading off the color, instead it is the value that informs you.
The two color underpainting (number 3) is a kind of blocking in method. Here you choose the  dominant color, first  in sun and then shadow.  Gradually you refine the shapes and colors. Details come last. I feel I resonate to this method more.
In my pastels I do a full color underpaintings (numbers 4 and 5) and play fully off the colors on the paper. The colors chosen are what I see as the "skeleton of the landscape." The skeleton underpaintings work well in plein air.
What's your underpainting method?


Casey Klahn said...

You have been excelling at the educational posts lately! Thanks for these, Loriann.

Yesterday's oil painting is wonderful.

loriann said...

Thanks so much Casey! I feel like I am just yacking up a storm. I am delighted to hear when anyone finds them useful!
Thanks about the painting!

Donna T said...

Keep talking, Loriann! I learn so much and think about some of your lessons all day. I envy your ability to use a colorful underpainting. Once I see color all other thoughts - like concept!-go out the window. It's like trying to choose the vegetables once I see chocolate desserts on a table. I have to use a monochromatic underpainting and very carefully tiptoe into color, for now anyways. Your colorful skeleton underpaintings work so well for you. It's always exciting to see one color peeking out from under another.

Anonymous said...

Hi Loriann.
Your past blog posts have been very informative-thank you! They have gotten me thinking of how I approach a painting. I usually do not start with an underpainting. I will begin with some lines or some thinned out paint to indicate the shapes and go from there. As the painting continues I may "save" the beginning colors or not.It is all relative and depends on where the painting is going.

Celeste Bergin said...

enlightening post!

loriann said...

Hi Donna and thank you!
Colorful underpaintings can set you free...and just think about it, if you don't like it you can cover it. It's just something to bounce off of. Try a small one and see what it can do..then let me know, k?

Hi NJ,
Everyone has a slightly different way of beginning. Whatever works is what you do. I find that experimenting with it gives me different results. Carry on!

Hi and thanks Celeste!

Karen said...

I too always love these type posts of yours...a little insight into your process, and also, different ways to think about things for those of us who work a little differently.

p.s. Glad to read that you are getting better and better with your health, too!

Anonymous said...

A very interesting post. As a watercolorist I am particularly interested in number 5, the watercolor underpainting. Do you paint oils over this or continue to develop the piece with watercolors? I am experimenting with underpaintings of glazes to create tonal watercolors.

loriann said...

Hi Watercolorist,

Number 5 was a set-up for a pastel painting.Sometimes I do a thinned oil as a set-up for a large pastel. Otherwise I use oils just as oil and I have never (yet) experimented with watercolor under oil.
Hope that helps.