Tag Archives: underpainting

To Under Paint … Or Not?

To underpaint … or not.

lush3 peony painting







Under painting it is! A decision which I know may drive some people crazy. Hopefully I will not have to include myself in that group. Many of the finest paintings are under painted, a technique used by the master painters centuries ago.

Works that were under painted withstood the test of time, though that is not so much a concern when using acrylics. However, I think it adds more dimension to the work, particularly in regards to light and colour. As the light changes, so does the painting.

This time I am not concerned about doing things perfectly the way others have done. Instead, I am adapting the technique to what suits me. I have used ink and a brush to go over the pencil lines, so they will not be washed away when I apply the first layer of paint which will be an imprimatura transparent wash.

Cloud SwayCreating balance in this is a little complicated, as it is not smack dab in the centre of the canvas. That was intentional so as not to make it look unnatural and to create a sound composition. It must look pleasing to the eye.

Now to create that kind of balance in real life! Today there were marvelous clouds and sunny and mild after the snow dump last night. Snow was shoveled, and besides painting, errands were run. And ssshhhh don’ tell anyone-I had tapioca pudding for supper. It was the only thing my tummy wanted.

New Beginnings

Lone Tree wipTime for new beginnings. Oh my dear paints and brushes, I have been neglecting you. Swept up by the flurry of holiday commitments, I have certainly spread myself a little thin.

In getting reacquainted with my art materials and studio, I began this landscape last night. This is just the underpainting.


Establishing form, value, movement, a basis for the paint layers to come. This is where I like to try to capture the essence of this wip painting.

A well layered painting, once finished, seems to vary with the differences in the natural light. When that happens, I feel something special has been achieved. My reward for all the hard work this past few months was a new digital camera. Bear with me as I explore the settings and editing formats. This is as realistic as I could get for the moment.

A grievous feeling gripped my heart yesterday, though I tried so not to let it in. Perhaps it is the let down after all the excitement. This too shall pass. I am going to try to maintain my focus this year, and that shall require tenacity on my part.

Every garden requires weeding and maintenance to allow for optimum growth, so I will continue to prune things which are no longer necessary in order to make room for the new. 2008 is going to be a good year. Cheers everyone!