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Underpainting: Part II

underpainting brushes 2

Earlier this week we posted about the benefits of using underpainting as a base for oil painting. Now we want to talk about the next step: using underpainting as your guide.

underpainting step 1

Using underpainting as a guide, our artist decided to use deeper colors on the left side of the background wall in order to bring out more contrast with the wine glasses. Bringing more light to the top right corner will better indicate the source of light. For the background wall, mix yellow ochre, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, and alizarin crimson. Mix a cooler, darker color for the left side by using more ultramarine blue and a warmer, lighter color on the right side by using more yellow ochre. Paint the table using the same colors, but less ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson.

underpainting step 3

Artist's Tip

When you are using paint (rather than pencil) to plot the composition on canvas, try to avoid using heavy strokes. That way if you want to make changes to your first outline, you can paint right over it without seeing lines from the previous composition.

Image and text excerpted from The Art of Basic Oil Painting

Have you tried underpainting? What are the pros/cons over pencil sketching a composition?

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