Monday, July 8, 2013

retro fave post- underpaintings, the wisdom of Richard McKinley

 9x18 pastel and watercolor on Uart paper
I am home. Back to the wonderful heat and humidity of the DC area. I am not being sarcastic. I do love the heat and humidity. I did miss the way it makes me feel loose all over, relaxed.
This is a painting I did at my fave field on Whidbey Island. I never did post it when I was away. I have so many from my  wonderful trip. Some I like, some I don't like. Some that can use a little space and maybe a little work. This is one that I decided I like. With it I post some of Richard's wisdom about underpainting.
Just for your information, Richard usually works on white Wallis paper. It takes the watercolor splendidly. Keep in mind that sometimes Wallis paper is a little irregular and repels watercolor in an orange-peely way. It's important to mount it and museum grade is best for watercolor.  (You can buy it mounted at Dakota Pastels) Instead I usually paint on Uart paper. There is no need to mount, I just tape it down. The effects are slightly different and I find I have to use Chinese White (a watercolorist's nightmare) if I want bright white on the dark Uart. It is a wonderful, predictable paper. I love it! Another aside note- this is a link to my post about my watercolor palette. Just in case you missed it.

Underpainting Wisdom from Richard:
"In an underpainting you need to be disciplined. With it you place you "meat and potatoes" (odd to say for a life-long veg). You do this so that you can put the dessert on top. Think about what marks you want to place on top.
Paint from the shoulders. Make gesture. 
Don't get edges in an underpainting. Instead choose later where they will be (focal point.) Have just a few colors dominate your underpainting. Save the other color for later."

 Below is Richard's underpainting done at Rosario. WOW! It was even better in person!
Richard says,"Nudge it."
"When you begin your pastels start incrementally. Let your underpainting shine can always put more on later."
finished jewel

Now that I am back I will make time to visit every one's blogs and see what I have missed. I really did appreciate all your comments during my long trip. It was really nice to quickly check in and read what everyone was thinking. In addition, I loved meeting two of my blogger friends: Lisa and Casey. In fact the day before I left Washington I was in Edison viewing an exhibit that my blogger friend Lisa was part of.  Birds. She had two beautiful oils, done in a jewel like way. She glazes and makes beautiful translucency.


Nika said...

Yay, good to know you're back safely!
Beautiful, soft focus painting. I love the shadow in the foreground, how it's not overworked, just enough.
Good bits about underpainting. I've been painting on boards and even paper primed with gesso and marble dust (thanks for the recipe) and noticed that gesso makes watercolor underneath more vibrant, love that!

Caroline said...

Your painting is very pretty Loriann with lovely summer colours and atmosphere.

Sally Veach said...

Loriann, I am loving what seems to be a new turn in your work--the addition of more abstract expressionist elements! Those impulsive marks straight from your heart add such a exhilarating layer of interest!

loriann said...

Hi Nika and thanks! The gesso does make the watercolor a little more vibrant. Glad you like it.My struggle still is to let more of the underpainting show.

Thanks Caroline!

Hi Sally! Thanks for noticing the marks..I love it when they just appear w/o thinking...just answering to the painting.

Karen said...

Beautiful words, and a fruitful trip...
I love reading about the applies to painters so much too (the underlying abstraction).

loriann said...

Hi Karen and thank you! In oil I underpaint in thin washes like tea.what about you Karen? I didn't know that it was called the underlying abstraction. always good to
hear form you! And you are most welcome!

Karen said...

I meant that the underpainting that you describe sounds just like how I think about my initial wash in the oil painting (where I'm thinking abstractly). That's what I was trying to say! :)

loriann said...

oh, dear, i'm sorry. Sounds like we think and work very similarly.

Donna T said...

Thanks for sharing your work and the words of wisdom from Richard! His underpaintings would look good framed!

loriann signori said...

Hi Donna!
Richard's underpaintings are quite beautiful it's true. His work is very sensitive. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed his shared wisdom.